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6 Interviews of
Gerry and Kate McCann Nov 3rd 2010
4 INTERVIEW with the McCanns (Part 1 OF 2)
You are calling for a review of the investigation. Explain to us why.
I think the first thing to tell the general public is that the
authorities haven't been doing anything proactive in the search for
Madeleine for well over two years now and we think it is fundamental for
any major incident that a case review is undertaken to look at all the
avenues that could be explored that might lead to new information coming
into the enquiry.
You say that they have been doing nothing proactive. What have they been
doing for the last two and a half years' People might be surprised to
Well I think if information comes in, certainly to the British
authorities, if they are able to they will have a look at it and if they
feel its necessary they will send it over to Portugal. But they
are actually waiting for information to come in rather than trying to
bring information in that could find her.
Do you think it makes it difficult for them, though, because you have
got your own private investigators looking for your daughter' Does that
make your relationship with the police difficult'
It shouldn't. I mean its not competition. They should be working
together if anything. The fact if there wasn't private investigators
there would be absolutely no-one looking for this so I don't see why'
Its not a threat. We don't have the resources. They don't have statutory
powers. There's a lot more the authorities can do. We do have people,
though, on the end of a phone line, looking at emails, interviewing
witnesses and generally following up new lines of enquiry and they've
passed a number of those on to the authorities. But, you know,
this is an unsolved serious case and particularly given the profile we
think that a full case review should be undertaken and that has to be
collaborative with the Portuguese authorities.
Leicestershire Police have said to us that they haven't shelved the
investigation because it was never their investigation to shelve because
it was being led by the Portuguese. What more would you expect
Leicestershire Police to do'
I mean I think it is important to say although Portugal has primacy with
regards to the investigation it doesn't mean that there isn't things the
British authorities can do. And certainly a review is one of the
crucial, significant things that they can take part in.
I mean I think what we are asking for today is for the governments to do
more. Leicestershire have, you know, largely played their part and they
have done that to the best of their ability. But this needs to be done
at higher level. It needs to be done between the governments and there
has to be an agreement and err' parameters set in terms of the review,
how it is going to be done and what it leads to. And the last Home
Secretary, Alan Johnston, ordered a scoping exercise that was undertaken
by CEOP and as far as we can see, after six months nothing has been done
with that scoping exercise and we just don't think that's acceptable.
So the previous Home Secretary looked into the feasibility of having a
review. Has there been a change in the attitude of the new government
now that we have a change of government.
Well it is difficult to know because we are not getting any metrics to
measure what the government are doing against so there's no time lines,
there's no deliverables and time's just ticking on. We were told that we
would be told the contents of that report. We haven't seen it. We
haven't been told. And really although the government say there
are sensitivities, we fully understand that but they should be doing
more and they are, should be responsible for ensuring that Madeleine
gets the best investigation possible.
We are not aware of any progress since the CEOP report was handed in to
the government at the end of March. And even allowing for a change of
government in the last six months we're not aware of anything that has
carried on from that report being given in.
When you met with Theresa May, the new Home Secretary, what promises did
she give you' Did she tell you what was in that scoping report'
Well, I think that's just it. There weren't any promises. In fact she
said, 'I don't want to make any commitments'. But, basically, what we
need to know is what are they doing, what are they going to do with that
report, have they read the report'
Do you think she had even read it'
Well she hadn't when we met her. She said that which was a bit
disappointing. Hopefully now she has but we need to know where are we
going now because we truly believe its going to help the search for
Madeleine. We know its not easy but it doesn't mean its not possible.
I just wanted to ask you. You've chosen to do the interviews now three
and a half years on. People will be wondering how on earth you keep
going and how you keep this story in the news after such a long time.
Well we don't '(Slight laugh') Although we offered to do things like
this really I think it is a reflection that the public are very
I think the public care about Madeleine and that's why its still a story
for want of a better word. Which is great because without the
public support I don't know where we'd be, erm'
I think that's crucial, you know. The government won't do anything
without pressure and its the public. The government are
accountable to the public who elected them and that's what we're asking
for is the public to ask our government to do more and to work with the
Portuguese government as well and we should be putting pressure on both
of them to solve this. We can't stop doing what we do. We need to find
Madeleine. We are living a life that's somewhat in limbo between our
previous life which was very, very happy and somewhere now where we've
got a different life but without Madeleine in it. And we can't really
get off that treadmill until we find her or at the very least what's
happened to her.
And how do you keep going' How do you keep hoping' There must be
days when it is very, very difficult.
Well we've worked so hard. I mean, understandably, we're Madeleine's
parents and we are going to do everything that we can and we work really
hard. And there are days when it feels that obstacle after obstacle is
thrown in your way and obviously the clock keeps ticking, the calendar
keeps turning. And there's days that we just look at each other and
think 'God I wish it was all over', you know erm. But basically we wish
Madeleine was back with us. Full stop.
You know, '
You know, but we can't stop while we are in this situation we just have
to keep going. It doesn't matter how tiring it is. It doesn't matter how
many blocks are put in our way. We have to keep going because a little
girl is still out there missing. You know this is not solved this case.
She's still missing and there's an abductor out there, there's a
criminal out there who is free to do this over and over again if we let
him. You know, so that's another reason why the governments and the
authorities should be doing more.
I was just going to say one of the simplest things is Sean and Amelie's
attitude because they talk about Madeleine all the time and when we are
having one of those days when you just want to opt to go away and you
are exhausted and they just say, 'When Madeleine comes home' and there's
no reason why she can't come home that we know of and its happened for
other children and they know how hard we are working and they want
Madeleine home as well and that really does give us renewed energy and
vigour to carry on what we are doing.
In Sean and Amelie's words, 'Madeleine's missing. We need to find her.'
And its quite simple when you put it like that, you know.
So you still believe that your daughter is alive and out there
Certainly, we know there's a good chance that she's still alive. I mean
at the minute she's just missing, you know. I mean, so you have to
assume she's alive cos there's nothing to say otherwise. There's many
cases, as you know, that have hit the media of children and many cases
that haven't hit the media of children who've been found years down the
line so you just have to keep going.
I mean you could imagine if we just gave up and years down the line we
found her. There's no justification for giving up.
And so you will keep on searching for as long as it takes.
Yeah. And we can't stop. I don't think any parent could stop.
I don't think you could live comfortably. I just don't think physically
that you could, or mentally you could actually reach that decision, you
When you mentioned the public support and how important it is to you.
How do you feel about the fact that there are still people who feel that
you had something to do with it and there are web sites set up to
(''''''''')' It must be quite hurtful still after all this time.
I think the key thing is that the motives of people who wish to persuade
others that Madeleine is dead without any evidence to suggest that have
to be questioned. You know, we are here to try and make sure that there
is as good a search as possible and that's as far as I can see the way
the vast majority of the public want to see it happening. And I think
they'll be shocked to find that the authorities have not been doing
anything. Our focus is in making sure there is a good search not
stopping one for a missing child
So are you still quite hurt by some of the things you read'
Well a lot of the rubbish I don't read, to be honest. Because, as
Gerry said, you have to question the motives of people like that. People
who want to insist on something without evidence. People who want to
bring, you know, more pain and suffering to a family who are already
vulnerable, who are already suffering. You really have to question those
people and I don't value their opinion because, you know, I wouldn't
behave like that so, you know, you can't be, you know, detracted,
distracted from what is important which is Madeleine by people like
that. The majority of people are good people. They're the quiet majority
and I strongly believe they are the ones who want to find Madeleine.
And you are appealing for more funds. What happened to the money that
you had previously' There's around, I understand, '350,000 left. What
happened to the previous money that was donated'
OK. I think the first thing to say is that the priority today is very
much about asking the public to help us with the petition to get the
government to do more. We have been fortunate, although its not
helped us get where we want, by having a fund. And the fund was set up
in response to people offering money and it was set up properly and the
fund is very accountable and it has independent auditors and we have a
fund administrator who's got lots of experience. The vast amount of. The
vast majority of the money in the fund has been spent directly on search
fees. Its obviously supported other things, awareness campaigns, we have
a part-time co-ordinator now. We have media liaison to deal with things
like this here and in Portugal in trying to get our messages across, but
the most of the money, the vast majority of it has been spent'
we've had to fund an investigation for two years now which as you can
imagine with several more than that personnel, it costs money'
Staff, expenses, interviewing. We run a 24hr help line which is
available. We run a web site. That costs money, updating it.
Communications. You know, all of these things do add up and without
having the fund there wouldn't be a meaningful search today.
You've also spent money on your own investigators as you've said. There
have been reports that some of these detectives have taken money but
then not delivered. They are dodgy detectives if you like. How can you
reassure people that money won't be spent on people like that in the
GM Well we've very much had for the last two and a bit years,
we've had Dave Edgar who is a very experienced detective who was near
retirement. He's been working with us. He's very much accountable for
the spend. He feels he can justify every penny. But at the same time I
hope the public realise as well as directors of the fund in particular
when we were arguido and there was no search going on that it was
incumbent upon us to continue a search in very, very difficult
circumstances. So we have made decisions along the way which have
always, we felt, been in the best interest of the search to find
Madeleine and we are very accountable. All the expenses are there err,
receipts and we've got quite a tight-knit team working on this but we
need them. Without it there would be no-one there to go and interview
people and follow up leads.
What about the, some people might say, the judgement of the trustees is
sometimes questionable because you have had people like Halligen who is
now facing extradition'
Well, you know, we are doing the best in very, very difficult
circumstances. I think that's key. We always take advice, due diligence
is done, references are sought and, you know, the fund is accountable
and as directors we are responsible for making those decisions.
There are also reports that you have fallen out with some of the
trustees, with your brother and your boss who have resigned'
That's nonsense. That's absolute nonsense. Why do you say we have fallen
out' I mean the fund has changed over three years, three and a half
years. Its very different, ermm, initially we weren't on the board
because we were based in Portugal'
Nobody thought, you know, three and a half years ago that we would be in
this situation today. Its a big commitment, you know, and things have
changed. We've got different phases in the last three and a half years
so inevitably there's going to be changes.
So its not that you've had differences over the way the money was spent
No, not at all.
GM In fact any of the changes we have made recently are to make
the fund more efficient and more responsive. Kate and I always feel, you
know, there's still an urgency. It doesn't get easier and we don't need
a large board as such. We are trying to run the fund like a small
business in many ways so that its focused and the directors by and large
are hands on and responsible for certain areas. Kate and I are integral
to all the parts of it. We've got legal advice. We've got specialist
media liaison etc. We've got a retired accountant, and, you know we've
got Kate's uncle who is there and is a good governance sort of person.
So all of these are taken on board and we've got a very experienced fund
administrator as well.
Have you talked about the petition'
Yeah, I was just going to ask you about that. So, I mean, you have
mentioned the petition already. Just how many signatures are you hoping
to collect' What are you asking people to sign for' What is the point of
Well the whole point is to call on the governments, both the UK and the
Portuguese government to do more in the search for Madeleine and the
first thing we feel that's fundamental is that they undertake a complete
review of the case preferably it should be independent and we want
transparency as well and we are asking the public to help us in that
In terms of, you only have '350,000 left now, how can you, how long do
you worry that you can keep going (if you dont get donations'''')'
Well we are always as directors of the fund, we are always looking at
that because one of.., the remit is for us to fulfil the objectives of
the fund and the fund is to try and find Madeleine and bring those
responsible to justice so there's always an agenda item about finances
and we need to look at that. We've done other fund raisers in the past
and we'll keep looking at that. We've been very fortunate from the point
of view of having so many of the public make donations and a large part
of the money we've spent, as you know, has come from libel damages which
were paid into the fund. So we'll continue to explore it. We certainly
need to be looking at income generation over the next months.
There must be huge pressure on you knowing you've always got to look
Well, I mean, we'd love nothing more to find Madeleine. And then we
wouldn't have to worry about that. You're absolutely right. Our focus is
on the search for Madeleine and without the authorities conducting that
then the onus is on us and we don't think that's right. The onus should
be on the governments to do more. We'd love to give that pressure away.
And you mention the money from the trials. How do you feel now that
Amaral's book is going to be on the shelves here'
Yeah, so. Well, you know, we've already alluded to it. Anyone who
wants to convince people that Madeleine is dead without evidence to
support it then will just have to be questioned. But today the
focus is on asking the public to help us petition the governments to do
Do you feel that you should be chasing libel actions' Some people
might say why don't you just leave libel stuff to one side' Why try and
silence your critics'
Well obviously we've talked about this in great detail previously. The
reason why we had to take actiion was because we strongly felt it was
damaging the search to find Madeleine and as Gerry has just said, that
is our ultimate goal, is to find Madeleine.
I just wonder, can you update people' Where are you now' I mean recently
you went over to Germany. You translated all your literature into
German. So can you update people' Where are you now' Have you got any
new leads' What's happening (''''''')'
I would like to say to you that we did have some hot leads but the very
fact that we are calling for a complete review to identify further areas
for investigation is telling you that, you know, more needs to be done.
All the information needs to be put onto one database because that may
be the way that we find the key bit of information, the missing piece of
So at the moment you are worried that there isn't even a central
database so the information might not be getting cross referenced
Yes, I mean there's information in lots of centres that hasn't been
brought together and there could be two key bits of information that
individually don't seem key but put together could give you some
valuable information that could take you one step closer to finding
Madeleine so it just seems an obvious and crucial thing to do. And this
is why reviews are done time and time again in this country on major
So you must be frustrated that the government has carried out a scoping
into whether there should be a review and no action has been taken'
Yeah, I mean that's what we're asking for. We want to see what action.
We want metrics. We want deliverables. And we want the government to do
more. Madeleine is a British subject and the government should be doing
more to look out for her interests.
And I was just wondering. How can people sign the petition'
Its on the ipetitions website. So its www.ipetitions.com then forward
slash petitions but its quite a complex link.
Three and a half years on, Kate and Gerry McCann refuse to give up hope
of finding Madeleine alive but that's exactly what they think the
authorities in Portugal and in Britain have done.
I do, if I'm honest I do. And I expected more, and whether my
expectations were higher than they should have been. I don't
believe so because we are British citizens and even opening Madeleine's
passport on the front page it says that we will provide you with
assistance and protection and I feel she could have a lot more.
The McCanns believe its two and a quarter years since either the
Portuguese or British police did anything proactive to search for
Madeleine. They're sure there's information to be found and pieced
together and are asking for a full case review.
I want to make it absolutely clear we don't want to have a review to
look over mistakes and saying apportion blame. Its nothing to do with
that. Its about identifying areas for further investigation.
The public is being asked to sign an online petition to lobby the two
governments. Kate and Gerry McCann say they have met three Home
Secretaries but need more than worthless words now
Thoughts and words are not good enough, particularly when they are in a
position that they can actually do something about it.
For the authorities now, if Madeleine was found, it would almost be by
chance, and it shouldn't be right that this crime is solved by another
child being abducted.
The Find Madeleine Fund which pays for investigators and an internet
campaign is due to run out of money next spring. The McCanns say
there are bad days when it is Madeleine's twin brother and sister who
are now five who keep them going.
They're unbelievable. They really are amazing Erm, and they
still talk about when Madeleine comes home, you know. How will
they share the bedrooms' Will the three of them be together, well
you know' What colour bedroom will we have, you know' They
keep us going and this would be so much harder, or unbearable in fact,
if it wasn't for Sean and Amelie.
Yeah, Sean and Amelie are incredible really. And, erm, it doesn't
bear thinking about really how we'd be if it wasn't for Sean and Amelie.
Erm, they give us a focus, they give us hope, they bring us joy, you
know. And they are doing brilliantly, I mean, they've taken it all
on board, they seem to handle it perfectly well, they're incredibly well
adjusted. Erm, and they talk about Madeleine even now, every day
they'll talk about Madeleine. You know she's in their role play.
You know, they'll spot Madeleine stickers and say 'That's my sister',
you know, and' They haven't forgotten her, you know.
Three and a half years after she went missing, the parents of Madeleine
McCann are again stepping up their search. Kate and Gerry McCann
are launching a petition asking the UK and Portuguese governments to do
For the last two and a half years the authorities have not been doing
anything proactive to find Madeleine. That's been despite our best
efforts to encourage them to do so and I don't think its right that the
onus should fall on us. The authorities really should be doing
I mean we had mentioned, obviously we've met several home secretaries
and we met Alan Johnson previously and he actually commissioned the
report, the scoping exercise to be carried out by CEOP basically to see
if a review would be helpful to the search for Madeleine. So we
did actually feel we were making progress and that report was carried
out and we haven't seen the results of it and it has actually been
sitting with the government since March. Now, admittedly, we've
obviously had a change of government since then but its six months now
and nothing has been done with the report. We're not even sure if
its been read yet. It certainly hadn't been read in August we were
I think its fundamental, you know, there hasn't been a formal case
review and I think for such a serious case as this and particularly with
the profile of it and the international aspects that that should be
carried out and further inquiries should be determined as a result of
I mean Madeleine is still missing. She's a little girl. Her
abductor is still out there so, potentially, you know by not carrying on
with the investigation we are putting other children at risk. Erm,
I think more needs to be done.
I think you're right. What we actually asked at the last meeting
was to have some metrics by which to judge progress and at the minute
there's no time scale, there's no deliverables, and its really difficult
to see what the governments are actually doing.
Madeleine disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3rd
2007 just a few days before her fourth birthday.
The McCanns say all they want is the Home Office to persuade the
Portuguese authorities for a joint review of all the evidence.
They believe it would justify a new investigation into their daughter,
Madeleine's, disappearance. Why do you think that isn't being
Right at the minute we don't know why it its not being done'
Its a good question isn't it'
I mean, as you'd be aware reviews are done of all major investigations
in this country anyway. So they are obviously felt to be of
benefit. So you do have to ask the question, why then, what is the
block in doing a review of Madeleine's situation'
But when you asked the Home Secretary that, two months ago, what did she
Well we don't often get answers to be honest. I mean there's a lot
of words but nothing concrete.
An independent report on the Madeleine case was commissioned by a
previous Home Secretary. The author, Jim Gamble of the Child
Exploitation and online center delivered the report this summer to the
new government and its believed he recommends a detailed review but the
Home Office won't tell the McCanns what's in the CEOP report.
I don't see any reason why the contents of that report should not be
made available to us. We've been very clear all along the way that
we'll only divulge information if and when its valuable to the search
and the government know that we have kept lots of information, erm,
quiet. So I don't see, even if there is sensitive elements within
it, why we shouldn't be given it. As Madeleine's parents I think it is
Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from the family's rented
holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007. The Portuguese police
abandoned their investigation fifteen months later without any evidence
of what happened to Madeleine. Today her parents are launching an
online petition for support in their campaign for more government help.
We are asking the people who elected the government to petition them to
do more. They are not doing anything proactive. Madeleine's a
British citizen. She's innocent. She's vulnerable and our
government should be doing more to find her.
Your hope, belief that Madeleine is still alive is as strong as ever'
Well the hope's definitely there. I mean it has to be, you know.
With nothing to the contrary, you know, Madeleine's still out there and
alive, you know, and to give up on her, just, I mean I can't get my head
round that really, how a government or authorities can do that. We
certainly can't give up on her.
The McCanns say its scandalous that they and their small team of
investigators are the only ones still looking for Madeleine.
Martin Brunt for Sky News in Leicestershire.
Its half past ten on the third of November. You're watching UTV Live
Tonight. Good evening and welcome to the programme. I'm Paul Clark and
welcome to the programme. She's been missing for more than three
years and now the family of Madeleine McCann fear the search for their
daughter could be nearing its end. A vigil is held for the pensioner who
died after collapsing during a robbery at a shop in west Belfast. A
girl who died trying to save her family from a fire started deliberately
by her father is rewarded for her bravery. And as Barack Obama suffers
a humiliating defeat in the mid-term elections. Has he become a lame
Madeleine McCann's abduction touched the hearts of millions of people
throughout the world, not least in Donegal where she holidayed with her
family just weeks before she vanished. But there's still no sign of
Maddie. A private investigation launched by her parents is running out
of cash, fast. On top of that they fear the authorities have given
up the hunt for their daughter. Sharon O'Neill reports.
If it wasn't for the kindness of the general public there wouldn't have
been a search at all for Madeleine. Without Madeleine's fund there would
have been no investigation at all in the last two years.
If Madeleine was found it would almost be by chance and it shouldn't be
right that this crime is solved by another child being abducted.
Madeleine McCann is at her happiest here. Its the Easter holidays and
she's is in Donegal, where her grandparents live, enjoying an ice cream
with friends. But just weeks after this photograph was taken the three
year old vanished, snatched from her parents' holiday apartment in the
Algarve in a tragic story which has gripped the world.
I mean there are days when you feel like you can't go on and, you know,
its a burden that you carry constantly but as Kate said, you know, its
like a treadmill that you're on and you can't get off as parents. Even
if you wanted to, you can't. And, I think you know, we will keep going
till the end.
While Madeleine's parents will never give up hope, they fear those in
I expected more and whether my expectations were higher than they should
have been. I don't believe so because we are British citizens and even
opening Madeleine's passport on the front page it says that we will
provide you with assistance and protection and I feel she could have a
Madeleine disappeared while on holiday with her family in the Portuguese
resort of Praia da Luz in the Algarve. Just days before her fourth
birthday she was kidnapped from this ground floor apartment as her
parents ate a restaurant nearby. A massive search was launched as soon
as they realised Madeleine was gone and that search turned global.
Please could you go to your local authorities or the police and give any
information that you have, any genuine information that you have.
Please, please help us.
But despite tip-offs and alleged sightings of Madeleine, she's never
been found. Frustrated by the lack of progress in the
investigation by Police in England, where they live, and the Portuguese
authorities the McCanns set up their own privately-funded investigation
boosted by the generosity of the public. At its peak '2 million
pounds was in the fund. But the cash is running out and the
investigation is in danger of winding up. Today the McCanns made a
final appeal to the UK and Portuguese authorities. They want a full
review of the case.
Well the case was officially closed in July 2008 so that's what, two and
a quarter years ago. I suspect there's probably little that was
done proactively after we were declared arguido in September 2007.
I think that will probably come as a surprise to most people. And
(let me be clear here'''') there are reactive elements of new
information comes in. I'm sure the British police will take it
forward, prioritise it and send it through to Portugal and our own team
have passed information through. But what we want is a fundamental
review of all the major facts looking at all elements of information,
looking at the processes that were undertaken and say this could have
been done better. And the goal is to, obviously to find Madeleine and
who took her but that person or those responsible are still at liberty
and they should be brought to justice.
The Mccanns have close links to Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Gerry's father Jack went to school in Londonderry but he grew up in the
village of St Johnston just over the border in Donegal and he ran this
pub with his wife Eileen up until he died. St Johnston became a
retreat for Gerry, Kate and their young family and people here feel they
have been badly left down.
They think of them as one of their own, do you understand' And
they take it very much to heart the thing, exactly what has happened.
So everybody is feeling for the McCann family, knowing that they came
from this part of the country.
People everywhere have, you know, huge sympathy for the family and what
they are going through. And I think its terrible that there still
hasn't been anything done, you know, up to date about her. I'm
sure somebody somewhere knows where she is and, you know, some more
should be done to help them find her.
This is how Madeleine may look today. Three years older but still
with those big innocent eyes which captivated the world. Gerry and
Kate believe their daughter is still alive.
We all know it will be very difficult to find Madeleine. There's
been enough cases of other children who have been missing for very
prolonged periods, including Jaycee Dugard, Sean Hornbeck and others who
have been recovered after being abducted and been physically well.
So there's absolutely no evidence to suggest Madeleine is not out there
and what we need to do is to make sure that the authorities are doing
everything within their power to find Madeleine and those responsible
for her abduction.
Madeleine's younger brother and sister, who were also in the apartment
at the time she disappeared, are also waiting for her to come home.
Oh they're fantastic. I mean they're five and three quarters now, as
they'll tell you, erm, and they're unbelievable. They really are
amazing. Erm, they still talk about Madeleine all the time I
mean every day they'll talk about Madeleine. Erm, they understand
that we're having to look for her, that we have various people looking
for us. They understand why people have car stickers, why people
have wrist-bands. Erm and they still talk about when Madeleine
comes home, you know. How will they share the bedrooms' Will
the three of them be together, well you know' What colour bedroom
will we have, you know' They're desperate for her to get home so
she can open all those presents that are sitting in her room, you know.
But they, you know, they keep us going and this would be so much harder,
unbearable in fact, if it wasn't for Sean and Amelie.
The McCanns have suffered every parents' worst nightmare but they still
haven't lost heart that one day they will see Madeleine again.
Sharon O'Neill, UTV Tonight.
I'm joined now from London by the McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.
Clarence Mitchell, how do the McCanns feel that they may soon not be
able to afford this search'
Paul, good evening. Well, of course, they hope that that will not
be the case. There is enough money in the fund to keep the search
fully active until the spring of next year. But obviously it makes
sense to raise the possibility of the fund dwindling now so, in the hope
that people will continue to be as generous and as kind as they have
been in the past. Public support has been fantastic and you can
see that, even from today, within 24 hours of them launching their new
online petition calling for a review of all the evidence in Britain and
Portugal into Madeleine's case we've already got some ten thousand
signatures online. So that's great. And if people wish to
contribute financially as well, of course Kate and Gerry will be
Do they feel there is a danger that people will give up on them'
They hope not. They don't think so. Most decent-thinking
people realise their search will go on as long as it takes. There
is nothing to suggest that harm has befallen Madeleine. There is
no evidence to suggest what has happened to her. And on that
basis, until they know, Kate and Gerry will keep going. And they
believe they still have a great groundswell of public support not just
in Britain but in Ireland particularly where support has been absolutely
fantastic. Erm, but across Europe. Indeed across the world.
So they still feel greatly buoyed by the wave of sympathy and support
that always comes along whenever they do some interviews as they've just
How do they cope on a day-to-day basis'
Well they keep going. I mean this has very much become almost a second
career for them. Of course, Kate never resumed her work as a GP.
She is very much concentrating on bringing up Madeleine's twin brother
and sister, Sean and Amelie, as their mother. When she's not doing
that, she's campaigning, she's on the computer, she's talking to the
authorities, she's talking to supporters. That really has become
her full-time focus. Gerry is back at work as a full-time
cardiologist providing the back bone for the family. But really
this has become their entire focus around their normal life and its that
which actually gives them inner strength to keep going.
You talked about the support from Ireland. There is an Irish connection.
The McCanns, have they plans to come back to Donegal at any stage'
Yes, of course, Gerrys father went to school in Derry and came from
Donegal originally. There are very strong family connections,
certainly on Gerry's side of the family. They've always said they fully
intend to go back when the time is right. They are only too appreciative
of the support from Ireland both South and North and I know that they
intend to come back at some point in the near future. Obviously,
they would hope that they will have Madeleine with them. That day
may still be a little way off but their thoughts and prayers are with
everyone in Ireland and they are incredibly grateful for that continuing
level of support and they would hope that everybody in Ireland will go
to the online site. You can go to it through the findmadeleine.com site
and sign up to this petition asking for the review that they want. They
feel that's a critical part of the jigsaw and could lead to Madeleine
being brought home.
Mark Williams-Thomas contributed to a
phone-in on Radio Five Live with Nicky Campbell yesterday, November 3rd
with transcript below.
Woman on phone (Naimh''')
'I'd like to see what kind of a Mickey Mouse search, you know, police
investigation was done by the Portugal, err, police'
Well, I'll tell you what, let me stop you there. I'll come back to
you because, Mark Williams Thomas, you know stuff about, you know a lot
about that, don't you'
Good morning. Yes I do. Yes, I mean I think Gerry and Kate
have come out now talking for two reasons. One, to try and keep that
profile there and to talk about the effect it's had on them. And I
think its important to remember, of course, that as a parent you will
never give up the search for your child. Last year I met Patty
Wetterling in the US. Her son was abducted at the age of eleven, Jacob.
He's still missing. And Patty still goes through it constantly
every single day. And bringing it to the home shores, Ruth Wilson
who went missing on the 27th of November, 95. I know Ruth's
parents very, very well and worked with them. And she's missing and she
vanished at the age of sixteen. No sight or anything at all, And these
parents will never give up. Every single phone call that they get,
particularly around anniversaries and Christmas they wait in
anticipation that they will get some news. So Gerry and Kate will
never give up.
But obviously what they are asking for now is a re-investigation over
some of the elements of it. And if we go back to the initial stage
there was obviously an awful lot that was done, there was an awful lot
that wasn't done. But we mustn't forget that this is a Portuguese
investigation and however much influence the British have over Portugal
.it is ultimately their investigation. They've conducted what they
consider to be an investigation. There are no new leads or
inquiries that would require them to open the investigation. The
one thing that Gerry and Kate could do with all the Tapas would be to go
back to the Portuguese police and say we will co-operate 100% with a
review in relation to a reconstruction. And don't forget that
reconstruction was something that never took place and at the time I was
certainly saying that reconstruction would have been very valuable but
they would all have to co-operate.
I'm sure I remember a reconstruction on television, watching it being
Not with Gerry and Kate other than they went back with their own
investigators and did a kind of reconstruction. The Portuguese
police wanted to do a full reconstruction with all the Tapas and with
everyone back in their', going through the process ('''''''')
Well, where do you think Madeleine is now'
Well the sad reality is that when children go missing the main age group
for children to go missing is ten to 16. That's where the high numbers
are. But between the ages of 1 and 4, which is obviously what Madeleine
was at the time, within the period of 8 minutes and there are some
interesting statistics here, is 20% of children between the ages of 1
and 4 will be located within 8 minutes. 99% of those children will
be located within 196 minutes. So that shows you the sheer, the
percentage of children who will be recovered very quickly. And out
of those 98% of those children will be found within 1.2 kilometres of
the location to which they have gone missing.
Where do I think Madeleine is now' Well Madeleine was' I still
believe that Madeleine was abducted outside the apartment. She walked
outside the apartment and that's where she was abducted. Gerry and
Kate have got to keep hope that Madeleine isn't dead and until such time
as they have got some confirmation and direct intelligence that tells
them that she is dead they will always live on the hope that she will
return. The sad reality is that is probably very unlikely.
Can I just say'
'that your statistics were for Britain and I am sure they don't hold
true for Portugal. I'm sure the British Government could have
applied some pressure. I mean, you could have a special
investigation where the British police, I know if someone went missing
here in England it would be a completely different scenario. The
child would be found in the next 24 hours, 48 hours or whatever.
You know, they need to have a special department, I mean instead of
wasting money on stop and search. I was hearing on your radio that
they did a hundred thousand stop and searches and 99.9% were useless,
you know. Instead of spending those resources on frightening the
community, you know, we should spend it on situations where we can help
parents where children, especially young children, 1 -10, go missing,
abroad, you know.
I think, I'll just pick up on that point. I think you are absolutely
right as far as knowledge as to how to investigate missing children has
improved incredibly. And I was at a conference yesterday, the
national Missing Persons Conference in Coventry and there is clearly an
awful lot is now being done, is being done co-ordinated using agencies
as well as the police service to help find missing children. And
in Portugal they are some way behind. I think from a policing
point of view they are probably five, maybe six years, maybe even more
than that behind in the way they deal with missing children and indeed
some of their other investigations. But I think now, if a child
goes missing in the UK, there is a incredible amount of resources that
are pulled in and worked on to be able to find that child very quickly
and, of course, we have experience of that.
OK. Its 9.30 and I am grateful to Naimh('''') and also John in Dunbarton
Keir Simmons on NBC with transcript November 7, 2010 ' jjp000
This morning a surprising new development in the case of the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Three years after the British girl
vanished in Portugal police say they are ready to re-open the
investigation. Lets get the latest from Keir Simmons in London. Keir,
Well, good morning, Lester. Its now more than three years since three
year old Madeleine McCann vanished and Portugal's police just
desperately need to solve this crime. This morning it is reported that
detectives are committed to resolving the case and would work on a
review and pursue any new line of enquiry. You remember Kate and Gerry
McCann's young daughter went missing from their holiday apartment in
idyllic resort in Portugal's Algarve. Some witnesses saw a male
abductor carrying her away but incredibly the parents themselves were
then accused of her involvement. Those allegations have been dismissed
now but this week Madeleine's parents claim that both the British and
Portuguese governments have forgotten their daughter.
Thoughts and words are not good enough, particularly when they are in a
position that they can actually do something about it.
If Madeleine was found it would almost be by chance and it should't be
right that this crime is solved by another child being abducted.
Well this morning its reported that Portuguese detectives will look at
the case again but Madeleine's parents have waited too long to get their
hopes up and are awaiting official confirmation. Lester'
Keir, we haven't seen the McCanns for quite some time. How are
generally are they coping right now'
Well you know, Lester, I've covered the disappearance of little
Madeleine McCann from the beginning. I arrived in Portugal the day
after she went missing and to me her parents now seem as shell-shocked
and devastated as they did in those early days. They say Madeleine's
twin brother and sister often talk about if Madeleine comes home, er,
not about if Madeleine comes home but about when she comes home. How
they will share their bedrooms and spend time together. Without those
two little ones the parents say life would have simply been unbearable.
Alright. Keir Simmons in London this morning, thank you.