TWO of Britain's most dangerous paedophiles were last night at the
centre of the Madeleine McCann investigation.
Depraved Charles O'Neill, 48, and William Lauchlan, 34, were jailed last
June for sex attacks on children and the murder of a mum-of-three who
threatened to expose them.
O'Neill was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and Lauchlan to 26.
But now it has emerged the monsters, who were also gay lovers, were
touring Spain, and possibly Portugal, on false passports when Madeleine
vanished on May 3, 2007.
Police have already spoken to Lauchlan about Madeleine and an alleged
child smuggling operation on the continent.
Detectives are said to be keen to now talk to O'Neill because of his
resemblance to a thin, spotty suspect seen
hanging around the holiday complex in Praia da Luz on the Algarve
shortly before the three-year-old went missing.
It is the first time British police have interviewed anyone in
connection with the case but Leicestershire Police, the McCanns' local
force, said they could not comment because the inquiry was being led by
officers in Portugal.
A senior officer said last night: 'The whole Madeleine McCann inquiry is
being kept extremely tight at the very highest level.'
The development came as, for the first time, Madeleine's mum Kate
revealed she thought about killing herself in the days after her
In her book, due to be published on Thursday, Madeleine's eighth
birthday, the 43-year-old writes: 'I had an overwhelming urge to swim
out across the ocean, as hard and as fast as I could; to swim and swim
and swim until I was so far out and so exhausted I could just allow the
water to pull me under and relieve me of this torment.
'I wasn't keeping that desire to myself, either. I was shouting it out
to anyone who happened to be in the room.
'I was crying out that I could see Madeleine lying, cold and mottled, on
a big grey stone slab.
'Seeing me like this must have been terrible for my friends and
relatives, particularly my parents, but I couldn't help myself.'
O'Neill and Lauchlan, originally from Largs, Ayrshire, abused children
in Britain and abroad.
They also strangled Allison McGarrigle, 39, who disappeared in 1997
after she threatened to tell police about them abusing a boy.
They have also been linked to the disappearance of Yeremi Vargas, who
was seven when he disappeared while playing outside his Gran Canaria
home in 2007.
The child is still missing and his mother remains convinced the Scottish
killers are responsible.