The McCann family
Kate McCann has told how her twins give her the strength to fight on and
try to find missing Madeleine.
Four years after her daughter was abducted in the Algarve at the age of
three, Kate has revealed a poignant conversation with Sean and Amelie,
'Sean said to me recently, 'When you're old me and Amelie will look for
Madeleine,' said Kate.
'I was chatting to Amelie and she said, 'Mummy's sad because Madeleine
is not here. But Amelie is here, and Amelie and Sean will always be
Kate, speaking before her book Madeleine is published to raise funds to
help the hunt for her daughter, said she worried she wouldn't be able to
cope with not knowing what had happened to her.
She also feared the worldwide search could heap pressure on her marriage
to 'husband Gerry.
But the twins, asleep in the same holiday apartment as Madeleine in
Praia Da Luz, Portugal, when she was snatched on May 3 2007, have been
the couple's lifeline.
Kate said: 'They include Madeleine in everything. If they have sweets
they ask if they can put the last one in her room. We've been as honest
as we can. They know that Madeleine was stolen. They call the person who
took her 'the naughty man'.' She said the twins, two years old at the
time, can recall how they went on holiday, woke up and their big sister
Madeleine, who would now be nearly eight, was snatched from her bed in
the McCanns' apartment. Kate and Gerry were at dinner with friends in a
restaurant close by and regularly checked on the sleeping children. But
the last time Kate went to check she found Madeleine was gone.
Port'uguese police made only a half-hearted efforts before 'making Kate
and Gerry suspects.
In her book, out on Thursday, Kate says that she is haunted by the fear
that Maddie was snatched by a 'paedophile. 'She wrote: 'When she was
first stolen, paedophiles were all we could think about, and it ate away
at us. The idea of a monster like this touching my daughter, stroking
her, defiling her perfect little body, just killed me over and over
again. I would lie in bed, hating the person who had done this to us. I
wanted to kill him. I wanted to inflict the maximum pain possible.'
The former GP from Rothley, Leics, told The Sun newspaper that she was
consumed with guilt at having left the children alone but did not think
there was any risk that they would come to harm. She could not get
horrendous images out of her head. She wrote: 'I was crying out that I
could see Madeleine lying cold and mottled on a big grey stone slab.
'I struggled constantly to think nice thoughts and drift off to sleep,
but the demons had me in their grip and would torture me mercilessly
with images too frightening and painful to share.
'An entry in my diary from that time: 'Crying in bed again ' can't help
it. The thought of Madeleine's fear and pain tears me apart. The thought
of paedophiles makes me want to rip my skin off.' '
Kate also reveals the heart-rending moment she made the horrifying
discovery that her beloved little girl had been snatched from her bed.
She had gone back to the apartment and felt a draught while the
children's bedroom door was wide open. When she saw Madeleine was not in
her bed, Kate checked to see if she was in hers.
She said: 'On the discovery of another empty bed the first wave of panic
hit me. As I ran back into the children's room the closed curtains flew
up in a great gust of wind. My heart lurched as I saw that, behind them,
the window was wide open and the shutters on the outside raised all the
way up. Nausea, terror disbelief, fear. Icy fear.' After scouring the
apartment, Kate ran quickly to alert Gerry and their friends that
Madeleine had gone missing.
'As soon as our table was in sight I started screaming: 'Madeleine's
gone! Someone's taken her!'' she wrote.
As everyone started to search she ran into the car park shouting
Madeleine's name. She added: 'It was so cold and windy. I kept picturing
her in her short-sleeved Marks & Spencer Eeyore pyjamas and feeling how
chilled she would be. Fear was shearing through my body.'
As the search went on Kate went back to the flat to check on the twins,
who had slept soundly through the ordeal.
She reveals how she even had thoughts of suicide, explaining:'I had an
overwhelming urge to swim out across the ocean, as hard and fast as I
could ' to swim and swim and swim until I was so far out and so far
exhausted I could just allow the water to pull me under and relieve me
of this 'torment.'
She says she found it much harder than husband Gerry to 'switch off'
from the grief. 'He was functioning much sooner. I sometimes found it
almost 'offensive, as if somehow he wasn't 'grieving enough. He would
suggest doing something nice... and I would cry.'
by Kate McCann will be published by Bantam Press on May 12.