EXCLUSIVE: Mystery surrounds the
death of private detective Kevin
His body was found at his home in
Surrey and police have launched a
Halligen took over the private
investigation into the McCann case
in May 2008 but was later accused of
conning the family fund out of
The blood-soaked body of a private
detective who probed the disappearance
of Maddie McCann has been found at his
home in Surrey.
Mystery surrounds the death of Kevin
Halligen, 56, who is said to have
presented himself as a
'cloak-and-dagger, James Bond-style
spy'. Police today confirmed to
MailOnline today that a probe has been
launched into the circumstances.
Halligen took over the private
investigation into the McCann case in
March 2008 but was later accused of
conning the family fund out of
It is believed he was found at the home
he shared with his long-term girlfriend.
There is no suggestion that she was
involved in his death. Sources said the
house was 'covered in blood'.
Kevin Halligen, 56,
pictured, was found dead at
his Surrey home. Police have
launched an investigation
into the death which is
being treated as
'unexplained', a spokesman
A spokesman for Surrey Police said
today: 'We were called to an address in
Cobbett Hill Road, Normandy, Guildford,
on Monday following a report of a man in
his 50s having been taken unwell, who
His death is being treated as
unexplained but a source who knew the
Dublin-born debt-ridden private eye say
he was 'a boozer' and 'drink was
inevitably his downfall.'
Former associates of Halligen described
him as a heavy drinker. One ex-colleague
told MailOnline: 'The house was covered
in blood but apparently that was from
Kevin falling down so much.
'His body is now in the morgue. The
police are looking into it.'
Defence consultant Tim Craig-Harvey, a
former associate of Halligen, wrote
online: 'The lies and alcohol finally
caught up with him.'
Another source told MailOnline: 'He died
at his girlfriend's place near
Guildford, a miserable pathetic death
caused by alcohol.'
The McCanns hired Halligen's firm in a
bid to boost the search for Maddie after
failing to come up with any plausible
leads one year after she went missing.
They agreed a £500,000 fee with Oakley
International, which was described by a
source close to the family as 'extremely
secretive' but 'absolutely the best'.
Halligen took over the
private investigation into
the McCann case in March
2008 but was later accused
of conning the family fund
out of £300,000
Defence consultant Tim
Craig-Harvey, a former
associate of Halligen, wrote
online: 'The lies and
alcohol finally caught up
Kate and Gerry McCann were initially
impressed by Dublin-born Halligen,
believing he 'was in a different league'
to other private investigators.
He boasted of employing ex-FBI, CIA and
Special forces officers while offering
undercover surveillance and intelligence
gathering in Portugal.
The detective even said he could provide
satellite imagery and details of
telephone traffic from the night
But within a year, questions began to
emerge about Oakley and Halligen in
Researchers claimed that the firm had
not looked into hundreds of calls made
to a special hotline - while specialists
found that their bills were unpaid.
The promised satellite images also
allegedly turned out to have been
grabbed from Google Earth.
Kate and Gerry McCann were
initially impressed by
believing he 'was in a
different league' to other
Six months into the highly-paid
assignment, the McCanns were growing
increasingly concerned about Halligen.
A family friend said: 'He had this sense
of cloak-and-dagger, acting as if he
were a James Bond-style spy.
'The McCanns found him hard to deal
with, because he was forever in another
country and using different phones. He
promised the earth but it came to
The contract was terminated early after
£300,000 had been paid to Halligen.
Kate recalled: “Oakley’s proposal and
overall strategy were streets ahead of
all the others we’d considered and the
company came highly recommended.”
Initially Kate and heart doctor Gerry,
49, from Rothley, Leicestershire, were
impressed with Halligen’s work with Kate
writing: 'There is little doubt that
progress was being made.'
The McCanns hired Halligen's
firm in a bid to boost the
search for Maddie (pictured)
after failing to come up
with any plausible leads one
year after she went missing
But the couple later started to have
grave concerns and decided to sack him
in September 2008 terminating his
Kate recalled: 'It was quite acrimonious
and unfortunately that was not the end
Several months later investigators sub
contracted by Halligen cane forward
demanding payment for his services which
they hadn’t received.
Kate said: 'We were upset that, although
a lot of hard work had been done on
Madeleine’s behalf, it seemed money
provided by her fund might not ever have
reached the people who had earned it.'
MailOnline understands that relations
broke down after the detective's team
discovered he was enjoying a lavish
lifestyle, staying in the best hotels
and eating at the top restaurants in
London - all at the expense of the Find
Former doctor Kate, 49, now a medical
worker previously told how the family
had suffered 'a particularly bad
experience' with Halligen, who she knew
as Richard. She described the ordeal he
put them through in her best seller 2011
Colleagues said that far from being an
expert in undercover operations,
Halligen was 'out of his depth' with 'no
experience of such investigations.'
There is no suggestion that any former
associates are involved in the death of
After being sacked from the McCann
investigation in 2009, Halligen was
arrested in the UK and extradited to
America on fraud charges for an
He pleaded guilty to defrauding
Trafigura, based in the Netherlands, who
had hired him to help free two company
executives arrested in Ivory Coast in
He received about $12 million to provide
'security, intelligence and public
Trafigura gave Halligen an additional
$2.1 million to 'hire lobbyists and
influence officials in the United States
on Trafigura's behalf'.
The next day, Halligen used nearly $1.7
million of that money to buy a large
home with a swimming pool.
The Washington Post reported at the
time: 'Owners of Washington restaurants
remember him spending thousands on long,
boozy days and evenings. He traveled
everywhere in a chauffeured Lincoln.'
One restaurant owner said he and his
staff called Halligen 'James Bond'
because of his stories of spy derring-do
and his habit of tossing around huge
sums of cash.
It is believed he was found
at the home of his long-term
girlfriend, which is among
the private Henley Park
gated community (pictured)
His fraud conviction carried a maximum
of 20 years in prison, but under federal
sentencing guidelines he would serve no
more than 41 months.
As he had been in custody awaiting trial
for 42 months, he was freed and
deported, returning to his birthplace of
In 2014, Kevin Halligen made a rare
public appearance, agreeing to be
interviewed for a Channel 5 documentary
The McCanns and The Conman.
He denied that he misused money raised
to find Madeleine. Answering claims that
he spent the money on first class
travel, luxury hotel suites and a
chauffeur, he said: 'It is gross
distortion of what was actually
A source close to Kate and Gerry McCann
said they had
terminated their contract with Oakley
international in September 2008 and
had not had anything to do with Kevin
'Clearly this is now a matter for the
police and the Coroner's office,' the
A close pal of Maddie’s parents said:
'The man was a fantasist. He promised
lots of things that never happened.
'He even claimed McCann spoke Clarence
Mitchell was working for MI5!'
'Kate and Gerry and Madeleine’s great
uncle Brian Kennedy, who had brought him
on board, were bitterny disappointed
with him towards the end of his
'They didn’t need the extra grief, they
already had enough. '
In the end they took issue and had to
withhold his final payment. He just ran
away from his debts around the world.”
The hunt for Madeleine McCann continues,
more than 10-and-a-half years after her
A team from Scotland Yard has been
probing the case since 2011 at a cost to
the British taxpayer of more than
£11.3million. Portuguese police have
lead status in the investigation.
In October 2017, the Home Office
allocated an extra £154,000 to Scotland
Yard to pursue a 'critical line of
inquiry' and extend the search to the
end of March 2018.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate
and Gerry McCann said today: 'They had
no further association with Kevin
Halligen after the termination of his
Oakley International contract nine years
ago and under these circumstances they
will not be commenting now. Clearly this
is a matter for the police and coroner’s