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Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

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Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann, aged three and (age-progressed) nine.jpg
Madeleine in 2007, aged three, and forensic artist's impression of how she may have looked in 2012, aged nine[1]
Born Madeleine Beth McCann
(2003-05-12)12 May 2003
Leicester, England
Disappeared 3 May 2007 (aged 3)
5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, Praia da Luz, Portugal
37°05′19″N 8°43′51″W / 37.0886565°N 8.7308398°W / 37.0886565; -8.7308398Coordinates: 37°05′19″N 8°43′51″W / 37.0886565°N 8.7308398°W / 37.0886565; -8.7308398
Status Missing for 9 years, 9 months and 21 days
Parent(s) Gerry McCann
Kate McCann (née Healy)
Distinguishing features Blonde hair; "[l]eft eye: blue and green; right eye: green with a brown spot on the iris ... small brown spot on her left leg".[2]
Investigators Polícia Judiciária
Leicestershire police
London Metropolitan Police/Scotland Yard
Contact Operation Grange (Scotland Yard); Madeleine's Fund

Madeleine Beth McCann (born 12 May 2003) disappeared on the evening of 3 May 2007 from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal, sparking what one newspaper called "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history".[3] Her whereabouts remain unknown.[4]

Madeleine was on holiday from the UK with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, her younger twin siblings, and a group of family friends and their children. She and the twins had been left asleep at 20:30 in the ground-floor apartment, while the McCanns and friends dined in a restaurant 55 metres (180 ft) away.[5] The parents checked on the children throughout the evening, until Madeleine's mother discovered she was missing at 22:00. At first the Portuguese police seemed to accept that it was an abduction, but over the following weeks, particularly after misinterpreting a British DNA analysis, they came to believe that Madeleine had died in the apartment.[a] The McCanns were give arguido (suspect) status in September 2007, which was lifted when Portugal's attorney general archived the case in July 2008.[7][8]

The parents continued the investigation using private detectives until Scotland Yard opened its own inquiry, Operation Grange, in 2011. In 2013 Scotland Yard released e-fit images of men they wanted to trace, including one of a man seen carrying a child toward the beach that night.[9] Shortly after this the Portuguese police reopened their inquiry.[10] Operation Grange was scaled back in 2015.[11]

The disappearance attracted sustained international interest and saturation coverage in the UK reminiscent of the death of Diana in 1997.[12] The McCanns were subjected to intense scrutiny and false allegations of involvement in their daughter's death, particularly in the tabloid press and on Twitter.[13] In 2008 they received damages and front-page apologies from Express Newspapers,[14] and in 2011 they testified before the Leveson Inquiry into British press misconduct, lending support to those arguing for tighter press regulation.[15][16]


Madeleine McCann

(top) Portugal in green, with Spain on the right, Morocco to the south

Madeleine was born in Leicester and lived with her family in Rothley, also in Leicestershire. At the request of her parents, she was made a ward of court in England shortly after the disappearance, which gave the court statutory powers to act on her behalf.[17][18] Police described Madeleine as blonde haired, with blue and green eyes, a small brown spot on her left calf, and a distinctive dark strip on the iris of her right eye.[2][b] In 2009 the McCanns released age-progressed images of how she may have looked at age six, and in 2012 Scotland Yard commissioned one of her at age nine.[21][22]

Kate and Gerry McCann

Madeleine's parents are both physicians and practising Roman Catholics. Kate Marie McCann, née Healy (born 1968, Huyton, near Liverpool) attended All Saints School in Anfield, then Notre Dame High School in Everton Valley, graduating in 1992 with a degree in medicine from the University of Dundee. She moved briefly into obstetrics and gynaecology, then anaesthesiology, and finally general practice.[23]

Gerald Patrick McCann (born 1968 in Glasgow) attended Holyrood R.C. Secondary School before graduating from the University of Glasgow with a BSc in physiology/sports science in 1989. In 1992 he qualified in medicine and in 2002 obtained his MD, a research degree, also from Glasgow. Since 2005 he has been a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.[24][25] The McCanns met in 1993 in Glasgow and were married in 1998. Madeleine was born in 2003 and the twins, a boy and girl, two years later.[26]

Tapas Seven

The McCanns were on holiday with seven friends and eight children in all, including the McCanns' three.[27] The nine adults dined together most evenings at 20:30 in the resort's tapas restaurant, as a result of which the media dubbed the friends the Tapas Seven. The group consisted of marketing manager Jane Tanner and her partner, physician Russell O'Brien, who were there with their two children; physician Matthew Oldfield and his wife, recruitment consultant Rachael Oldfield, along with their daughter; and physicians Fiona and David Payne, their two children, and Fiona Payne's mother, Dianne Webster.[28] Jane Tanner became an important witness, when she reported seeing a man carry a young girl away from the resort 50 minutes before Madeleine was reported missing.[29]

5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, Praia da Luz

Waterside Village

Ocean Club resort
1: Tapas restaurant;
2: 5A's front door;
3: Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins leading from 5A to Ocean Club door;
4: Stairs leading to 5A's patio doors.

Apartment 5A

Side of 5A
showing steps from Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins to 5A's patio doors
Madeleine's bed (left);
window faces Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, the front (non-resort side)

The McCanns arrived on Saturday, 28 April 2007, for their seven-night spring break in Praia da Luz, a village with a population of 1,000, known as "little Britain" because of the concentration of British homeowners and holidaymakers.[30] They had booked through the British holiday company Mark Warner Ltd, and were placed in 5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, an apartment owned by a retired teacher from Liverpool, one of several privately owned properties rented by the company.[31]

5A was a two-bedroom, ground-floor apartment in the fifth block of a group of apartments known as Waterside Village, which lay on the perimeter of part of Mark Warner's Ocean Club resort. (The resort's facilities were scattered throughout the town.)[32] Matthew and Rachel Oldfield were next door in 5B, Jane Tanner and Russell O'Brien in 5D, and the Paynes and Dianne Webster on the first floor.[33]

The apartment block was not a gated complex. Located on the corner of Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva and Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins, 5A was accessible to the public from two sides.[34] Sliding glass patio doors in the living room at the back overlooked the Ocean Club's pool, tennis courts, tapas restaurant and bar. The patio doors could be accessed via a public street, Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins, where a small gate and set of steps led to 5A's balcony and living room. 5A's front door was on the opposite side of the block from the Ocean Club, on Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva.[35][36]

The McCanns' children slept in a bedroom next to the front door, which the McCanns kept locked. The bedroom had one waist-high window with curtains and a metal exterior shutter, the latter controlled by a cord inside the window; the McCanns kept the curtains and shutter closed throughout the holiday.[37] The window overlooked a narrow walkway and residents' car park, which was separated by a low wall from the street.[38] Madeleine slept in a single bed next to the bedroom door, on the opposite side of the room from the window, while the twins were in travel cots in the middle of the room. There was another, empty, single bed underneath the window.[35]

Thursday, 3 May 2007

20:30: Tapas restaurant

Thursday, 3 May, was the penultimate day of the family's holiday. Over breakfast Madeleine asked: "Why didn't you come when [her brother] and I cried last night?" After the disappearance, her parents wondered whether this meant someone had entered the children's bedroom. Her mother also noticed a large brown stain on Madeleine's pyjama top.[39]

The children spent the morning in the resort's Kids' Club, then the family lunched at their apartment before heading to the pool.[35] Madeleine's mother took the last known photograph of Madeleine that afternoon, sitting by the pool next to her father and two-year-old sister.[40] The children returned to Kids' Club, and at 18:00 their mother took them back to 5A, while their father went for a tennis lesson.[35]


Pink-and-white Eeyore pyjamas
similar to those Madeleine was wearing

The McCanns put the children to bed around 19:00. Madeleine was left asleep in short-sleeved, pink-and-white Marks and Spencer's Eeyore pyjamas, next to her comfort blanket and a soft toy, Cuddle Cat.[41] At 20:30 the parents left 5A to dine with their friends in the Ocean Club's open-air tapas restaurant. This was located on the other side of the pool, around 55 metres (160 ft) as the crow flies, or an 82-metre (295 ft) walk along a public street, through the doors of the Ocean Club resort, then along the pool.[5] The staff had left a note in a message book at the swimming-pool reception area, asking that the same table, which overlooked the apartments, be block-booked for 20:30 for the McCanns and friends. The message said the group's children were asleep in the apartments. Madeleine's mother believes the abductor may have seen the note.[42]

The McCanns and their friends left the restaurant roughly every half-hour to check on their children. 5A's patio doors could only be locked from the inside, so to allow them to enter that way, the McCanns had left the patio curtains drawn and the doors closed but unlocked. They had also closed the child-safety gate at the top of the patio stairs and the gate at the bottom leading to the street. Madeleine's father carried out the first check on 5A at around 21:05. The children were asleep and all was well, except that he recalled having left the children's bedroom door slightly ajar, and now it stood almost wide open; he pulled it nearly closed again before returning to the restaurant. This was the last time either of the McCanns saw Madeleine.[43]

21:10: Tanner sighting

Artist's impression of the man Jane Tanner saw, released October 2007; Scotland Yard believe it was this British tourist carrying his daughter.

The sighting by Jane Tanner, one of the Tapas Seven, of a man carrying a child that night became an important part of the early investigation. She had left the restaurant just after 21:00 to check on her own daughter, passing Madeleine's father on Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins on his way back to the restaurant from his 21:05 check. He had stopped to chat to a British holidaymaker,[44] but neither man recalled having seen Tanner. This became an issue that puzzled the Portuguese police, given how narrow the street was, and led them to accuse Tanner of having invented the sighting.[45]

At c. 21:10 Tanner noticed a man with a child cross the junction of Rua Dr Francisco Gentil Martins and Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva just ahead of her, heading east, away from the Ocean Club.[29][46][47] He was carrying a barefoot child wearing light-coloured pink pyjamas with a floral pattern and cuffs on the legs. She described the man as white, dark-haired, 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) tall, of southern European or Mediterranean appearance, 35–40 years old, wearing gold or beige trousers and a dark jacket, and said he did not look like a tourist. Tanner told the Portuguese police, but they did not pass the description to the media until 25 May.[48] Madeleine's Fund hired a forensic artist to create an image of the man (left), which was released in October 2007.[49][50]

The sighting became important because it offered investigators a time frame for the abduction, but Scotland Yard came to view it as a red herring.[51] In October 2013 they said that a British holidaymaker had been identified as the man Tanner had seen; he had been returning to his apartment after collecting his daughter from the Ocean Club night creche.[52][53] Scotland Yard took photographs of the man wearing the same or similar clothes to the ones he was wearing on the night, and standing in a pose similar to the one Tanner reported. The pyjamas his daughter had been wearing also matched Tanner's report. Scotland Yard said they were "almost certain" the Tanner sighting was not related to the abduction.[54]

22:00: Smith sighting

Further information: § Oakley International
E-fit images of the Smith sighting, released by Scotland Yard in 2013[9]

Another sighting of a man carrying a child that night was reported by Martin and Mary Smith, on holiday from Ireland.[55] Scotland Yard concluded in 2013 that the Smith sighting offered the approximate time of Madeleine's kidnap.[51]

The Smiths saw the man at around 22:00 on Rua da Escola Primária, 500 yards (457 m) from the McCanns' apartment, walking toward Rua 25 de Abril and the beach. He was carrying a girl aged 3–4 years. She had blonde hair and pale skin, was wearing light-coloured pyjamas, and had bare feet. The man was mid-30s, 5 ft 7 in–5 ft 9 in (1.75–1.80 m), slim-to-normal build, with short brown hair, wearing cream or beige trousers. He did not look like a tourist, according to the Smiths, and had seemed uncomfortable carrying the child.[56][57] E-fits based on the Smiths testimony were first created in 2008 by Oakley International, private investigators hired by the McCanns, and were publicized in 2013 by Scotland Yard on Crimewatch.[58]

22:00: Reported missing

Madeleine's mother had intended to check on the children at 21:30, but Matthew Oldfield, one of the Tapas Seven, offered to do it when he checked on his own children in the apartment next door. He noticed that the McCanns' children's bedroom door was wide open, but after hearing no noise he left their apartment without looking far enough into the room to see whether Madeleine was in bed. He could not recall whether the bedroom window and its exterior shutter were open at that point. Early on in the investigation the Portuguese police accused Oldfield of involvement because he had volunteered to do the check, suggesting to him that he had handed Madeleine to someone through the bedroom window.[35][59]

Kate made her own check at around 22:00. Scotland Yard said in 2013 that Madeleine was probably taken moments before this.[60] Kate recalled entering the apartment through the unlocked patio doors at the back, and noticed that the children's bedroom door was wide open. When she tried to close the door it slammed shut as though there was a draught, which is when she found that the bedroom window and its shutter were open. Madeleine's Cuddle Cat and pink blanket were still on the bed, but Madeleine was gone. After briefly searching the apartment Kate ran back towards the restaurant, screaming that someone had taken Madeleine.[61][62]

At around 22:10 Madeleine's father sent Matthew Oldfield to ask the resort's reception desk to call the police, and at 22:30 the resort activated its missing-child search protocol.[63] Sixty staff and guests searched until 04:30, at first assuming that Madeleine had wandered off. One of them told Channel 4's Dispatches that, from one end of Luz to the other, you could hear people shouting her name.[64]

Early response


Two officers from the gendarmerie, the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), arrived at the resort at 23:10 from Lagos, five miles (8 km) away. At midnight, after briefly searching, they alerted the criminal police, the Polícia Judiciária;[65] the latter said their officers had arrived within 10 minutes of that alert.[66] Two patrol dogs were brought to the resort at 2 am and four search-and-rescue dogs at 8 am.[65] Police officers had their leave cancelled and started searching waterways, wells, caves, sewers and ruins.[30][67] Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, head of the Polícia Judiciária in nearby Portimão, became the inquiry's coordinator.[68]

It was widely acknowledged that mistakes were made, perhaps the most serious of which was that the crime scene was not secured. Police took samples from Madeleine's bedroom, which were sent to three forensic labs in Portugal. It was reported on 1 June 2007 that DNA from one "stranger" had been found. But around 20 people had entered apartment 5A before it was closed off, according to Chief Inspector Olegário de Sousa of the Polícia Judiciária, the official inquiry spokesperson.[69][45] According to Madeleine's mother, an officer placed tape across the doorway of the children's bedroom, but left at 3 am without securing the apartment.[70] The Polícia Judiciária case file, released in 2008, showed that 5A lay empty for a month after the disappearance, then was let out to tourists before being sealed off in August 2007 for more forensic tests.[31][71]

A similar situation arose outside the apartment. A crowd gathered by the front door of 5A, including next to the children's bedroom window—through which an abductor may have entered or left—trampling on potentially important evidence.[72] An officer dusted the bedroom window's exterior shutter for fingerprints without wearing gloves or other protective clothing.[45]

Neither border nor marine police were given descriptions of Madeleine for many hours, and officers did not appear to make extensive door-to-door inquiries.[73] According to Madeleine's mother, roadblocks were first put in place at 10 am the next morning.[56] Police did not request motorway surveillance pictures of vehicles leaving Praia da Luz that night, or of the road between Lagos and Vila Real de Santo António on the Spanish border. Euroscut, the company that monitors the road, said they were not approached for information.[74] It took Interpol five days to issue a global missing-person alert.[56]

Media and PR

Further information: § Media coverage
Tribute in Madeleine's home town of Rothley, 17 May 2007

A Polícia Judiciária officer acknowledged in 2010 that they had been suspicious of the McCanns from the start, blaming them for what the officer called a "media circus".[75] Criminal investigations in Portugal are governed by a secrecy clause in its penal code, which means there are no official press briefings.[30] One journalist wrote that this leads to a proliferation of gossip that is hard to counter without breaking the law.[76]

The British PR firm Bell Pottinger, representing Mark Warner Ltd, dealt with the media for the first ten days, then the British government sent in press officers. The first was Sheree Dodd, a former Daily Mirror journalist, then Clarence Mitchell, director of media monitoring for the Central Office of Information. When the government withdrew Mitchell, Justine McGuinness, a non-government PR representative, took over until September 2007, then another PR company, Hanover, was briefly involved.[77][78] In September 2007 Brian Kennedy of Everest Windows stepped forward as a benefactor and offered to cover Clarence Mitchell's salary. Mitchell resigned from his position and started working for the McCanns; he was later paid by Madeleine's Fund.[3][79][80]

Madeleine appeared on the cover of People magazine on 28 May 2007,[81] and on 30 May the McCanns and a group of journalists flew to Rome, in a Learjet belonging to British businessman Sir Philip Green, to meet Pope Benedict XVI. Placing Madeleine on the front page of a British newspaper would sell up to 30,000 extra copies.[30] She was on the front page of several British tabloids every day for almost six months, and became one of Sky News's menu options.[12][82][83] Between May 2007 and July 2008, the Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manhã published 384 articles about her.[84] By June 2008 over seven million posts and 3,700 videos were returned in a search for her name on YouTube.[85]

First Portuguese inquiry (2007–2008)

First arguido

Further information: § Libel actions

The first person given arguido (suspect) status, 12 days after the disappearance, was a local British-Portuguese property consultant, Robert Murat.[86][87] Murat lived in his mother's home, 150 yards (137 m) from apartment 5A in the direction the man in the Tanner sighting had walked.[86] He was made an arguido after a Sunday Mirror journalist told police he had been asking questions about the case. The Polícia Judiciária had briefly signed him up as an official interpreter.[88][89]

Three members of the Tapas Seven said they had seen Murat near the resort on the evening Madeleine disappeared, although he and his mother said he had been at home all evening.[90] The house was searched, the pool drained, his cars, computers, phones and video tapes examined, his garden searched using ground radar and sniffer dogs, and two of his associates were questioned.[86][91] One of his associates had his car torched, with the word fala ("speak") sprayed in red on the pavement.[92]

There was nothing to link Murat or his friends to the disappearance, and Murat's arguido status was lifted on 21 July 2008 when the case was archived.[7] One of Murat's associates was questioned as a witness by the Polícia Judiciária, in July 2014, on behalf of Scotland Yard.[93] In December that year Murat and his wife were questioned, again on behalf of Scotland Yard, along with eight others.[94]

Witness statements

In statements given to the Polícia Judiciária early on in the inquiry, several witnesses described men behaving oddly near apartment 5A on the day of the disappearance, Thursday, 3 May 2007, and in the days leading up to it. Scotland Yard came to believe that the men were engaged in reconnaissance for an abduction or burglary.[95]

On 20 April a bedraggled-looking man rang on a tourist's doorbell to say in broken English that he was collecting money for an orphanage. She described him as 38–45 years old, with a sallow complexion, lank dark hair, moustache and large teeth.[96] A blonde-haired man described as "ugly" was seen on 29 April on Rua do Ramelhete,[97] and again on 2 May across the road from 5A. A man was seen staring at the McCanns' apartment block, where a white van was parked.[98] On 30 April a girl whose grandparents used to own 5A saw a blonde-haired man leaning against a wall behind the apartments, and saw him again on 2 May near the Tapas restaurant, looking at 5A. She described him as Caucasian, mid-30s, short cropped hair, "ugly" with spots.[97][98]

On the day of the disappearance, between 15:30 and 17:30, two black-haired men visited apartments close to 5A, ostensibly collecting for orphanages. One was in the McCanns' block at 16:00.[95] Also on that day, a man was seen walking through a gate leading away from the apartments; he tried to close the gate quietly, with both hands, and looked around as he left.[99][100] At 14:30 two blonde-haired men were seen on the balcony of 5C, an empty apartment two doors from 5A. At 16:00–17:00 a blonde-haired man was seen near 5A. At 18:00 the same or another blonde-haired man was seen in the stairwell of the McCanns' block. At 23:00, after the disappearance, two blonde-haired men were seen in a nearby street speaking in raised voices. When they realized they had been noticed, they reportedly lowered their voices and walked away.[101]

McCanns as arguidos

Early suspicion

Further information: § Media coverage
Praia da Luz, July 2009

The first indication that the media was turning against the McCanns was on 6 June 2007, when a German journalist asked them during a Berlin press conference whether they were involved in the disappearance.[102][103] On 30 June a 3,000-word article entitled "The Madeleine Case: A Pact of Silence" appeared in Sol, a Portuguese weekly, stating that the McCanns were suspects, highlighting alleged inconsistencies between their statements, and implying that the Tanner sighting had been invented.[104][105] The reporters had obtained the Tapas Sevens' mobile numbers and that of another witness, so it was apparent that the inquiry had a leak.[44][103][106]

This and later articles in the Portuguese press, invariably followed up in the UK, made several allegations, based on no evidence, that would engulf the McCanns for years on social media. They included that the McCanns and Tapas Seven were "swingers", that the McCanns had been sedating their children, and that the group had formed a "pact of silence" regarding what had happened the night of the disappearance.[88] Much was made of apparent inconsistencies within and between the McCanns' and Tapas Seven's statements. The police had asked the group questions in Portuguese, and an interpreter had translated the replies. The statements were then typed up in Portuguese, and verbally translated back into English for the interviewees to sign. Misunderstandings were inevitable.[59][88]

Among the inconsistencies was whether the McCanns had entered the apartment by the front or back door when checking on the children. According to the Polícia Judiciária case file, Gerry stated during his first interview, on 4 May 2007, that the couple had entered 5A through the locked front door for his 21:05 and her 22:00 checks, and in a second interview, on 10 May, that he had entered through the unlocked patio doors at the back.[107] (The patio doors could only be unlocked from inside, so the parents had left them unlocked to let themselves in.)[43] There was also an inconsistency about whether the front door had been locked.[107] Gerry told the Sunday Times in December 2007 that they had used the front door earlier in the week, but it was next to the children's bedroom, so they had started using the patio doors instead.[45]

The Polícia Judiciária questioned why, when Kate discovered Madeleine was missing, she had run to the tapas restaurant leaving the twins alone in 5A, when she could have used her cell phone or shouted to the group from 5A's rear balcony.[108]

Bedroom shutter

Officer dusts children's bedroom shutter
without protective clothing.[45]

The Daily Telegraph

Another issue was whether the exterior shutter over Madeleine's bedroom window could be opened from outside. According to journalist Danny Collins, the shutter was made of non-ferrous metal slats on a roller blind that was housed in a box at the top of the inside window, controlled by pulling on a strap. Once rolled down, the slats locked in place outside the window and could only be raised using the strap on the inside.[109] Kate said the shutter and window were closed when Madeleine was put to bed, but open when she discovered Madeleine was missing. Gerry told the Polícia Judiciária that, when he was first alerted to the disappearance, he had lowered the shutter, then had gone outside and discovered that it could be raised from the outside.[110][111] Against this, the police said the shutter could not be raised from the outside without being forced, but there was no sign of forced entry; they also said forcing the shutter open would have caused a lot of noise.[109]

The apparent discrepancies contributed to the view of the Polícia Judiciária that there had been no abduction.[112][113] Even Kate's shout of "they've taken her" was viewed with suspicion, as though she had been paving the way for an abduction story.[45] Particularly from August onwards, these suspicions developed into the theory that Madeleine had died in apartment 5A as a result of an accident—perhaps after being sedated to help her stay asleep—and that her parents had hidden her body for a month, before retrieving her and driving her to an unknown place in a car they had hired over three weeks after the disappearance.[4][114] In 2010 Carlos Anjos, former head of the Police Detectives Union in Portugal, told BBC Panorama that most Portuguese investigators still believed Madeleine died as a result of an accident in the apartment.[115]

National Policing Improvement Agency

Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz, where the McCanns attended Mass

On 28 June 2007 the McCanns suggested to the Polícia Judiciária that the police request help from Danie Krugel, a South African former police officer who said he had developed a "Matter Orientation System" for missing-persons cases, using DNA and satellites.[45][116] Kate McCann wrote in 2011 that it made no sense, but the couple were desperate. In the second week of June they sent him hair and eyelash samples from Madeleine collected by family in the UK. Krugel arrived in Praia da Luz on 15 July, and told the McCanns his equipment had picked up a "static signal" in an area of the beach near the Rocha Negra cliff.[117][45][118]

Krugel's involvement apparently led the Polícia Judiciária to make a formal request to the British police to help them search the areas Kruger had highlighted.[45][118] In July Mark Harrison, the national search adviser to the British National Policing Improvement Agency, arrived in Praia da Luz. His report, dated 23 July 2007, described Kruger's work as "highly unlikely". He wrote that 100 officers had searched up to 9.3 miles around Praia da Luz, but that the officer in charge and most of the team had no training in search procedures, with the exception of a search-and-rescue team from Lisbon. Search dogs had been used, but only after five days, instead of within two days as the handlers recommended. Harrison suggested using ground-penetrating radar in certain areas, and bringing in Keela and Eddie, two Springer spaniel sniffer dogs from South Yorkshire.[119][120]

British sniffer dogs

Keela was a crime-scene-investigation (CSI) dog trained to alert her handler, Martin Grime, to traces of human blood. Eddie was an enhanced-victim-recovery dog (EVRD), who alerted to the scent of human cadavers.[121] The dogs arrived in Praia da Luz on 31 July,[122] and were taken to two beaches, Robert Murat's house and several Ocean Club apartments. Both dogs gave alerts in apartment 5A, including behind the sofa in the living room, and on and under the veranda in the bedroom Madeleine's parents had used.[123][124][125] On 2 August the Polícia Judiciária arrived with the dogs at the house the McCanns had rented on Rua das Flores, telling the McCanns that an anomaly had arisen.[126] Eddie alerted at Cuddle Cat, which was lying in the living room, although Keela did not. [127] The police left with boxes of the McCanns' clothes, Cuddle Cat, a diary that Kate had started after the disappearance, and a friend's Bible she had borrowed. A passage the Bible's owner had marked from 2 Samuel, about the death of a child, was copied into the police case file along with a Portuguese translation.[128]

On 6 August the police removed the silver Renault Scénic the couple had hired 24 days after Madeleine went missing.[129] Keela and Eddie were taken to an underground car park opposite the Polícia Judiciária headquarters in Portimao, where the McCanns' car was parked alongside 10 others, including Robert Murat's.[130] Eddie, the cadaver dog, gave an alert outside the McCanns' car and inside the boot (trunk).[123][124] Keela also alerted to the map compartmen in the driver's door, which contained the ignition key and key ring. When the key ring was hidden underneath sand in a fire bucket, she alerted again, as she did when the bucket was moved to a different floor of the car park.[131] One or both dogs gave alerts at Cuddle Cat, Kate's clothes and the Bible.[132] The McCanns' lawyer said that, if there was indeed a smell of corpses on Kate's clothes, it might have been caused by her contact with the deceased as a family doctor.[133] Almost immediately the Portuguese press began running stories that Madeleine had died inside apartment 5A.[134]

The dog andler said in his report to the Polícia Judiciária that he had not known which of the cars in the car park belonged to the McCanns.[131] According to David Smith, writing in The Sunday Times, the McCanns' car was covered in "Find Madeleine" stickers, and when the dog moved away from it, the handler appeared to call him back. Smith alleged that the handler had similarly directed the dogs to particular spots inside 5A.[123][c]

British DNA analysis

Hair and other fibres were collected from areas in the apartment and car that Keela and Eddie had reacted to, and were sent to the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in Birmingham for DNA profiling, arriving around 8 August 2007.[135] The FSS used a technique known as low copy number (LCN) DNA analysis. Used when only a few cells are available, the test is controversial because vulnerable to contamination and misinterpretation.[136][137] On 3 September 2007 John Lowe of the FSS emailed Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior of the Leicestershire police, the liaison officer between the British and Portuguese police. Lowe told Prior that a sample from the car boot contained 15 out of 19 of Madeleine's DNA components, and that the result was "too complex for meaningful interpretation":

A complex LCN [low copy number] DNA result which appeared to have originated from at least three people was obtained from cellular material recovered from the luggage compartment section ... Within the DNA profile of Madeleine McCann there are 20 DNA components represented by 19 peaks on a chart. ... Of these 19 components 15 are present within the result from this item; there are 37 components in total. There are 37 components because there are at least 3 contributors; but there could be up to five contributors. In my opinion therefore this result is too complex for meaningful interpretation/inclusion.[d]

At this point, according to the Sunday Times, the Polícia Judiciária "abandoned the abduction theory".[45] On 8 August the McCanns were called to a meeting with the police in Portimao, and there were told by Guilhermino Encarnação, the Polícia Judiciária regional director, and Luis Neves, coordinator of the Direcção Central de Combate ao Banditismo, that the case was now a murder inquiry.[141] (Encarnação died of stomach cancer in 2010, and was identified by the Daily Telegraph as a major source of the leaks against the McCanns.)[142] Both the McCanns were interrogated that day; the officers suggested that Kate's memory was faulty.[141]

McCanns made arguidos

The Forensic Science Service email was translated into Portuguese on 4 September. The next day, according to Kate, the Polícia Judiciária proposed that, if she were to admit that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment, and that she had hidden the body, she might only serve a two-year sentence. Her husband would not be charged and would be free to leave.[143] Both parents were given arguido status on 7 September.[144] They were interviewed that day and were advised by their lawyer not to answer questions. Gerry did answer them, but Kate declined.[145]

The Polícia Judiciária told Gerry that Madeleine's DNA had been found in the car boot and behind the sofa in the apartment.[146] The DNA evidence was a "100 percent match", journalists in Portugal were told.[147] British tabloid headlines included "Brit Lab Bombshell: Car DNA is 100% Maddie's" (The Sun, 11 September 2007) and "Corpse in McCann Car" (London Evening Standard, 16 October 2007), while the Daily Star reported that a "clump of Maddie's hair" had been found in the car.[148][149] Jerry Lawton, a Daily Star reporter, told the Leveson Inquiry in March 2012 that the leaks had come directly from the Portuguese police.[e]

Matt Baggott—who when Madeleine disappeared was chief constable of Leicestershire Police, the force that coordinated the British side of the case—told the inquiry that, because the Portuguese were in charge of the case, he had made a decision not to correct reporters. His force's priority, he said, was to maintain a good relationship with the Polícia Judiciária with a view to finding Madeleine.[151][f]

McCanns return to the UK

Despite their arguido status, the McCanns were allowed to leave Portugal and arrived back in England on 9 September 2007.[155] The following day Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, head of the Polícia Judiciária in Portimão, signed a police report concluding that Madeleine had died in apartment 5A as a result of an accident, and that the McCanns had concealed the body and faked an abduction.[75] On 11 September the 10-volume case file was passed to a judge, Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, who authorized the seizure of Madeleine's mother's diary and her father's laptop. The McCanns had taken both items back to England, although the police had retained a copy of the diary.[156]

In the UK Control Risks, a British security company, took hair samples from the McCann twins on 24 September, at their parents' request. An anonymous donor paid for Control Risks' services. The McCanns were concerned that the abductor might have given the children sedatives; the twins had slept through the commotion in apartment 5A after Madeleine was reported missing, but despite requests the Polícia Judiciária had not taken samples. Control Risks took a sample from Kate McCann too, to rebut allegations that she was on medication. No trace of drugs was found.[157]

On 28 September, according to a diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks in 2010, the American ambassador to Portugal, Al Hoffman, wrote of his British counterpart, Alexander Ellis: "Without delving into the details of the case, Ellis admitted [during a meeting on 21 September] that the British police had developed the current evidence against the McCann parents, and he stressed that authorities from both countries were working co-operatively."[158][159]

Gonçalo Amaral's removal, later developments

In October 2007 Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, chief of police in Portimão and the inquiry's coordinator, was removed from his post and transferred to another city after telling the newspaper Diário de Notícias that the British police had only pursued leads helpful to the McCanns, ignoring that the couple were suspects. For example, he criticized the decision to follow up an anonymous email to Prince Charles that claimed a former Ocean Club employee had taken Madeleine.[68] Amaral was replaced by Paulo Rebelo, deputy national director of the Polícia Judiciária. The team of detectives was expanded and a case review began.[160] On 29 November four members of the Portuguese investigation, including Francisco Corte-Real, vice-president of Portugal's forensic crime service, were briefed at Leicestershire police headquarters by the Forensic Science Service.[161]

The Tapas Seven were interviewed by Leicestershire police in England in April 2008, with the Polícia Judiciária in attendance.[162] The Polícia Judiciária planned the following month to hold a reconstruction in Praia da Luz, using the McCanns and Tapas Seven rather than actors, but the Tapas Seven declined to participate.[163] The poor relationship between the McCanns and Portuguese police was evident again that month when, on the day the couple were at the European Parliament to promote a monitoring system for missing children, transcripts of their interviews with the Polícia Judiciária were leaked to Spanish television.[164] The national director of the Polícia Judiciária, Alípio Ribeiro, resigned not long after this, citing media pressure from the investigation; he had publicly said the police had been hasty in naming the McCanns as suspects.[165] As of May 2008 Portuguese prosecutors were examining several charges against the McCanns, including child abandonment, abduction, homicide and concealment of a corpse.[166]

Inquiry closed (21 July 2008)

On 21 July 2008 the Portuguese Attorney General, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, announced that there was no evidence to link the McCanns or Robert Murat to the disappearance. Their arguido status was lifted and the case was closed:

The case involving Madeleine McCann will be shelved following the decision by the two magistrates in charge that no evidence was found to implicate the arguidos. Hereby the condition of all three arguidos ceases ... and the bail measures imposed upon the same have expired. If they appeal against the decision it can be reopened. ... The inquiry may be reopened by decision of prosecuting council or by request of any of those involved if new, serious and relevant evidence emerges.[7][8]

On 4 August Portugal's Ministério Público released 17 case files containing 11,233 pages on CD-ROM to the media, including 2,550 pages of sightings.[167][g] The files included a 58-page prosecutors' report, which concluded: "No element of proof whatsoever was found which allows us to form any lucid, sensible, serious and honest conclusion about the circumstances [of the disappearance]."[169] In 2009 Portugal released a further 2,000 pages.[170]

Days after the case closed, excerpts from Kate McCann's diary, which had been taken by the Polícia Judiciária in August 2007, were published by a Portuguese tabloid, Correio da Manhã, translated into Portuguese, despite a Portuguese judge's ruling in June 2008 that the seizure had been a privacy violation and that any copies must be destroyed.[171] On 14 September 2008 a News International tabloid, News of the World, published the extracts, again without permission and now translated poorly back into English.[172][173]

Amaral's book (24 July 2008)

Portugal's Supremo Tribunal de Justiça (Supreme Court of Justice) at Praça do Comércio, Lisbon

The bad feeling between the McCanns and Polícia Judiciária reached such a height that Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, the officer who coordinated the investigation from May to October 2007, resigned in June 2008 to write a book alleging that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment, and that the McCanns had faked an abduction.[174] Amaral had been removed from the case in October 2007 after telling a Portuguese newspaper that the British police only pursued leads helpful to the McCanns.[68] Three days after the case closed in July 2008, his book, Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira ("Maddie: The Truth of the Lie"), was published in Portugal by Guerra & Paz.[175][176] By November 2008 it had sold 180,000 copies,[177] and was later translated into six languages and used as the basis of a documentary.[75]

The McCanns began a libel action against Amaral and his publisher in 2009, and in 2015 were awarded over 600,000 by a court in Lisbon.[178] Amaral's appeal against that decision succeeded in 2016; the McCanns' appeal to Portugal's Supreme Court failed in February 2017.[179][180] The McCanns' lawyer planned to challenge the Supreme Court's decision, in particular because the 76-page ruling included a statement that the couple had not, in fact, been cleared by the archiving of the criminal case in 2008. The lawyer said that Madeleine's Fund would cover the McCanns' legal costs.[181]

A judge issued an injunction against further publication or sales of the book in 2009, but the Lisbon Court of Appeal overturned the ban in 2010, stating that it violated Amaral's freedom of expression.[182] The ban was reinstated in 2015 as part of the libel ruling, and was lifted when Amaral's appeal succeeded in 2016.[178][179]

Amaral was himself an arguido in another case during the McCann inquiry. A month after the disappearance, he and four other officers were charged with offences related to their investigation into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, an eight-year-old Portuguese girl who vanished in 2004 from Figueira, seven miles (11 km) from Praia da Luz. Her body was never found, and no murder weapon was identified. Joana's mother and the mother's brother were convicted of murder after confessing to the killing. The mother retracted her confession, saying she had been beaten by police. Amaral was not present when the beating is alleged to have taken place, but was accused of having covered up for others. He was convicted in 2009 of perjury related to that investigation and received an 18-month suspended sentence.[183][184]

Madeleine's Fund

Raising money

J. K. Rowling and other public figures made large donations to Madeleine's Fund.[12]

On 15 May 2007, to finance the search, the family set up Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd.[185][186] Over 80 million people visited the fund's Find Madeleine website in the three months after the disappearance.[30] From September 2007, Brian Kennedy of Everest Windows supported the McCanns financially, and Kennedy's lawyer joined the fund's board of directors.[187][188][189]

Appeals were made by public figures and screened at football matches across Britain. J. K. Rowling and Richard Branson made large donations; Branson donated £100,000 to a legal fund for the McCanns.[190][12] Over £2.6 million was raised, including £250,000 from the News of the World.[191][12] A reward of £2.5 million was also offered, including from Branson, the News of the World, a Scottish businessman, Stephen Winyard, and Philip Green.[192][12]

In March 2008 the Express Group paid the fund £550,000 and £375,000 in the form of libel damages arising out of articles about the McCanns and Tapas Seven respectively.[193][194] In 2011 Kate McCann's book, Madeleine, was serialized by The Sun and The Sunday Times, both owned by News International, for a payment to the fund of ₤500,000 to ₤1 million.[195][196] In December 2015 the fund stood at around ₤750,000.[197] As of February 2017 it had seven directors, including the McCanns.[198]

The fund did not cover the couple's legal costs arising from their status as arguidos,[199] but it was criticized in October 2007 for having made two of the McCanns' mortgage payments, before they were made arguidos.[200]

Private investigators

Madeleine's Fund hired several firms of private investigators, causing friction with the Portuguese police. Shortly after the disappearance, an anonymous benefactor paid for the services of a British security company, Control Risks.[201] Brian Kennedy hired a Spanish agency, Método 3, for six months at £50,000 a month, which put 35 investigators on the case in Europe and Morocco. Kennedy went to Morocco himself in 2007 to look into one sighting.[202][203][188]

Investigators working for the McCanns tried to question a British paedophile, Raymond Hewlett, in May 2009; he denied involvement and died of cancer in Germany in December that year.[204] The McCanns hired David Edgar, a retired detective inspector, on the recommendation of the head of Manchester's Serious Crime Squad.[205] Edgar released an e-fit in August 2009 of a woman said to have asked two British men in Barcelona, Spain, shortly after the disappearance, whether they were there to deliver her new daughter.[206] Other private initiatives included a Portuguese lawyer financing the search of a reservoir near Praia da Luz in February 2008,[207] and the use of ground radar by a South African property developer, Stephen Birch, who said in 2012 that scans showed there were bones beneath the driveway of a house in Praia da Luz.[208]

Oakley International

Further information: § Smith sighting

In 2008 Madeleine's Fund hired Oakley International, a Washington, D.C.-registered detective agency, for over £500,000 for six months.[203][209][210][211] The company owner, Kevin Halligen, was arrested in 2009 in connection with an unrelated fraud allegation.[212] Oakley sent a five-man team to Portugal. Led by Henri Exton, a former British police officer who had worked for MI5, the team engaged in undercover operations within the Ocean Club and among paedophile rings and the Roma community.[203]

Exton questioned the significance of the Tanner sighting of a man carrying a child at 21:15 near apartment 5A, and focused instead on the Smith sighting at 22:00—the sighting by Martin and Mary Smith of a man carrying a child near the McCanns' apartment that night. The Oakley team produced e-fits based on the Smiths' description. This was a sensitive issue, because in September 2007 Martin Smith had watched footage of the McCanns arriving in the UK from Portugal, and believed he recognized Gerry McCann as the man he had seen with the child in Praia da Luz. Smith came to accept that he was mistaken: at 22:00 witnesses placed Gerry McCann in the tapas restaurant. Nevertheless, publication of the Smith e-fits, which bore some resemblance to Gerry, would have fed the conspiracy theories about the McCanns.[51]

Exton submitted his report to Madeleine's Fund in November 2008, but the fund told Exton that the report and its e-fits had to remain confidential. The relationship between the company and the fund had soured, in part because of a dispute over fees, and in part because the report was critical of the McCanns and their friends; it suggested that Madeleine may have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself through its unlocked patio doors.[51] The fund passed the e-fits to the police—the Polícia Judiciária and Leicestershire police had them by October 2009, and Scotland Yard received them when they became involved in August 2011[213]—but did not otherwise release them. Kate McCann did not include them with the other images of suspects in her book, Madeleine (2011), although she suggested that both the Tanner and Smith sightings were crucial.[51]

Scotland Yard released the e-fits in 2013 for a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction. After it had aired, The Sunday Times published that the McCanns had had the e-fits since 2008.[51] In response the couple sued the newspaper for having implied (wrongly) that they had not only failed to publish them but had withheld them from the police. The newspaper apologized and paid £55,000 in damages.[213][214]

Further police inquiries (2011–present)

Operation Grange

British Home Secretary Theresa May in 2010, with Prime Minister David Cameron

At the request of the British Home Secretary Alan Johnson, the Home Office began discussions in early 2010 with the Association of Chief Police Officers about setting up a new investigation.[142][215] In May 2011, under Home Secretary Theresa May, Scotland Yard launched an investigative review, Operation Grange, with a team of 29 detectives and eight civilians.[216]

The inquiry was set up after News International, by way of a campaign in one of its British tabloid newspapers, The Sun, put pressure on the government to involve the British police in the McCann inquiry.[195] As part of its serialization of Kate McCann's book, Madeleine (2011), The Sun published an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, on 11 May 2011, headlined "Open up the Maddie files". On the same day, the Leveson Inquiry heard, May spoke on the telephone, at her instigation, to Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, and Dominic Mohan, editor of The Sun.[215] Within 24 hours, Cameron announced that the review would go ahead, financed by a government contingency fund.[217] By June 2015 the inquiry had cost £10.1 million.[218]

Operation Grange was led by Commander Simon Foy.[216] Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Andy Redwood of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command was the first senior investigating officer, reporting to Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell.[216] Redwood retired in December 2014 and was replaced by DCI Nicola Wall.[219] The investigation was scaled back in October 2015 and the number of officers reduced to four.[11]

The Operation Grange team had tens of thousands of documents translated, released an updated age-progressed image of Madeleine,[220] and investigated 560 lines in inquiry and 8,685 potential sightings of Madeleine. By 2015 they had taken 1,338 statements, collected 1,027 exhibits, and investigated 650 sex offenders and 60 persons of interest.[11]

Burglary theory

By 2013 Scotland Yard were focusing on the theory that Madeleine was taken during a burglary gone wrong. There had been a fourfold increase in burglaries in the area between January and May 2007. They included two in the McCanns' block, during which intruders entered through apartment windows, in the three weeks before the disappearance.[221] In October that year Scotland Yard and the BBC's Crimewatch staged a reconstruction—broadcast in the UK, Netherlands and Germany—during which they released several e-fits, including Oakley International's e-fit of the Smith sighting and of men seen near the McCanns' apartment on and around the day of the disappearance.[221][222]

Days after Crimewatch aired, Portugal's attorney general reopened the Portuguese investigation, citing new evidence.[10] Mobile-phone tracking techniques showed that the phone of a former Ocean Club restaurant worker had been used near the resort on the evening of the disappearance. He was identified in the media as originally from Cape Verde, West Africa, who had died in 2009 in a tractor accident after being fired from the Ocean Club in 2006 for theft; the suspicion was that he had been breaking into apartments to finance a drug habit.[223][224]

In June 2014 Scotland Yard and the Polícia Judiciária, accompanied by archaeologists and sniffer dogs, searched drains and dug in 60,000 sq metres of wasteland in Praia da Luz.[225] Several interviews took place in Praia da Luz in July and December 2014, conducted by the Polícia Judiciária at the request of Scotland Yard, with the latter in attendance. In July four Portuguese citizens were interviewed; one, an associate of Robert Murat (an arguido in 2007), was first questioned shortly after the disappearance.[93][226] Eleven people were interviewed in December. They included Robert Murat, his wife and her ex-husband; a 30-year-old former tourist-bus driver for the Ocean Club; and the former driver's 24-year-old and 53-year-old associates. The latter three men had telephoned or texted each other near the Ocean Club around the time of the disappearance.[227] They admitted having broken into Ocean Club apartments but denied having taken Madeleine.[94][228][229]

Other inquiries

Other Scotland Yard inquiries included an effort to trace 12 manual workers who were at the Ocean Club when Madeleine disappeared, including six British cleaners in a white van who were offering their services to British expats.[230] They made inquiries about two convicted paedophiles in jail in Scotland since 2010 for murder; the men were running a window-cleaning service in the Canary Islands when Madeleine went missing, and one was said to resemble the Smith sighting.[231] Another focus of the inquiry was Urs Hans von Aesch, a deceased Swiss man implicated in the 2007 murder, in Switzerland, of five-year-old Ylenia Lenhard. Ylenia disappeared on 31 July 2007 and was found dead in September. Von Aesch was living in Spain when Madeleine disappeared.[232][233]

Scotland Yard issued another appeal in March 2014 about a man who had entered holiday homes occupied by British families in 12 incidents in the western Algarve between 2004 and 2010, two of them in Praia da Luz. On four occasions he sexually assaulted five white girls, aged 7–10, in their beds. The man spoke English with a foreign accent and his speech was slow and perhaps slurred. He had short, dark, unkempt hair, tanned skin, and in the view of three victims a distinctive smell; he may have worn a long-sleeved burgundy top, perhaps with a white circle on the back.[234] The Polícia Judiciária said they believed the intruder was the former Ocean Club employee from Cape Verde who died in the 2009 tractor accident.[235]

In June 2016 Operation Grange officers interviewed a victim of the late Clement Freud, who was accused that year of having a history of child sexual abuse.[236] Freud had a home in Praia da Luz when Madeleine went missing, and he befriended the McCanns weeks after the disappearance.[237] Freud's family said he was in the UK when Madeleine disappeared.[238]

Media coverage


See also: Leveson Inquiry
Roy Greenslade called the Daily Express coverage a "sustained campaign of vitriol".[239]

The disappearance turned a harsh spotlight on the McCanns. The case had everything the media could latch onto, according to feminist scholar Nicola Rehling: a white, middle-class family caught up in a nightmare of evil abroad. While one News International tabloid, News of the World, offered a £1.5 million reward for Madeleine, another, The Sun, offered £20,000 for information about Shannon Matthews, who disappeared from an English council estate in 2008 and whose mother had seven children by five men.[240]

The McCanns' middle-class status, at first protective, turned into a weapon against them.[241][242] They were harshly criticized for having left their children alone, despite the availability of Ocean Club babysitters. The argument ran that working-class couples would have faced child-abandonment charges.[241][242] Seventeen thousand people signed an online petition in June 2007 asking Leicestershire Social Services to investigate how the children came to be left unattended.[243]

Kate McCann's appearance and demeanor were widely discussed, and much of the commentary came from female journalists. She was deemed too attractive, too thin, too well-dressed, too intense, too controlled and not mumsy enough, according to media analyst Caroline Bainbridge.[244] Despite her obvious distress, several tabloids criticized her for not crying in public. The Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manhã complained that she had not "shed a single tear", while relying on police sources to portray her as hysterical.[245][44] Journalism professor Nicola Goc argued that Kate had joined a list of mothers deemed killers because of "unacceptable maternal behaviour". Several commentators compared Kate's experience with that of Lindy Chamberlain, who spent four years in jail for murder after her baby was killed by a dingo.[246] There was even a similar (false) story about supposedly relevant Bible passages Lindy Chamberlin and Kate McCann were said to have highlighted.[247]

In November 2011 the McCanns testified before the Leveson Inquiry into British press standards.[16] The inquiry heard that the editor of the Daily Express, in particular, had become "obsessed" with the couple.[248] Express headlines included that Madeleine had been "killed by sleeping pills", "Find body or McCanns will escape", and "'McCanns or a friend must be to blame'", the latter based on an interview with a waiter.[249] Lord Justice Leveson called the articles "complete piffle".[248] Roy Greenslade described them as "no journalistic accident, but a sustained campaign of vitriol against a grief-stricken family".[239] "Maddie 'Sold' By Hard-Up McCanns" ran a headline in the Daily Star, part of the Express group.[250]

Libel actions

The McCanns and Tapas Seven brought libel actions against several newspapers. The Daily Express, Daily Star and their sister Sunday papers, owned by Northern & Shell, published front-page apologies in 2008 and donated £550,000 to Madeleine's Fund.[14] The Tapas Seven were awarded £375,000 against the Express group, also donated to Madeleine's Fund, along with an apology in the Daily Express.[194]

Robert Murat received £600,000 in out-of-court settlements for libel in relation to 100 articles published by 11 newspapers—The Sun and News of the World (News International), Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star (Northern & Shell), Daily Mail, London Evening Standard and Metro (Associated Newspapers), Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Daily Record (Mirror Group Newspapers).[251] According to The Observer, it was the largest number of separate libel actions brought in the UK by the same person in relation to one issue.[252] His two associates were each awarded $100,000, and all three received public apologies.[251] The British Sky Broadcasting Group, which owns Sky News, paid Murat undisclosed damages in 2008 and agreed that Sky News would host an apology on its website for 12 months.[253]

Social media

Twitter was a key source of attacks on the McCanns.

Rehling writes that the narrative around the disappearance was shaped by social media. Twitter, one year old when Madeleine went missing, was the source of much of the vitriol.[254] Social media's attacks on the McCanns reportedly included threats to kidnap one of their twins, and when Scotland Yard and Crimewatch staged their reconstruction in 2013, there was talk of phoning in with false information to sabotage the appeal.[255]

One man who ran a website devoted to criticizing the couple received a three-month suspended sentence in 2013 after leafleting their village with his allegations, and the following year a Twitter user was found dead from a helium asphyxiation after Sky News confronted her about her McCann tweets.[256] Eilis O'Hanlon wrote that the disappearance "could almost stand as a metaphor for the rise of social media as the predominant mode of public discourse".[13]


  1. ^ Esther Addley (The Guardian, 27 April 2012): "It was, the [Portuguese] attorney general found, largely due to a catastrophic misinterpretation of the evidence collected by these officers [Leicestershire police] that the Portuguese team came to suspect the McCanns in the disappearance. ... Last month, Matt Baggott, at the time chief constable of Leicestershire, admitted to the Leveson inquiry that he had known the Portuguese officers, then heavily briefing reporters that the McCanns were guilty, were wrong on crucial DNA evidence. He could have corrected reporters' errors, even behind the scenes, he admitted, but had judged it better not to."[6]
  2. ^ Gerry McCann (CNN, 11 May 2011): "[T]he technical term is coloboma, where there's a defect in the iris. I don't think it is actually. I think it's actually an additional bit of colour. She certainly had no visual problems."[19][20]
  3. ^ David James Smith (The Sunday Times, 16 December 2007): "It has been suggested that the HRD dog was treated differently in the McCanns’ apartment than in the others. The dog kept sniffing and running off and it was called back on several occasions. Eventually it 'alerted', meaning it went stiff and stayed still.
    "Then the blood dog was called in and directed to the area where the other dog had alerted. Eventually this dog alerted in the same place – behind the sofa in the lounge, which is where the trace of blood was supposedly found.

    "The cars were lined up, not in a controlled environment, but in the underground public car park opposite Portimão police station. Again the dog was led quickly from one car to the next until he reached a Renault with 'Find Madeleine' stickers all over it. The dog sniffed and moved on to the next car, but was called back. The dog was taken around the McCanns' car for about a minute, as opposed to the few seconds devoted to the other cars. Then the dog went rigid, an 'alert', and the doors and the boot were opened. It was this that led to the recovery of some body fluids that the PJ suspected would contain traces of Madeleine's DNA, and which led to the supposed revelation that her body must have been carried in the car."[45]

  4. ^ The email from John Lowe (Forensic Science Service, 3 September 2007) continued: "The individual components in Madeleine's profile are not unique to her; it is the specific combination of 19 components that makes her profile unique above all others. Elements of Madeleine's profile are also present within the profiles of many of the scientists here in Birmingham, myself included. It's important to stress that 50% of Madeleine's profile will be shared with each parent. It is not possible, in a mixture of more than two people, to determine or evaluate which specific DNA components pair with each other. ... Therefore, we cannot answer the question: Is the match genuine, or is it a chance match."[138][139][140]
  5. ^ Jerry Lawton, Daily Star (Leveson Inquiry, 19 March 2012): "Portuguese police leaked in briefings in Portugal to their journalists that the forensic test results positively showed that Madeleine had been in or linked her to the hire car that her parents didn't hire until three or four weeks after she'd disappeared, and that story became a—created a sea change, without overusing that word, in the way the story has been looked at.
    "Those forensic test results became a bone of contention between the UK and the Portuguese police. I was present when a Portuguese team of forensic experts and detectives arrived in Leicester to discuss these results. Of course, they'd already leaked a version of the results. Leicestershire police presumably knew—although it turns out obviously that those test results did not prove that and that the Portuguese police had somehow misinterpreted these results. I just felt that had this been—that Leicestershire police could have briefed, off the record, even unreportable, that the Portuguese police had misinterpreted those DNA results. ...
    "Every time you rang Leicestershire police on that inquiry—and it was a lot, from every media organisation—you were told: 'It's a Portuguese police inquiry. You'll have to contact the Portuguese police.' And of course, they were fully aware that the Portuguese police had judicial secrecy laws and they wouldn't talk about the case."[150]
  6. ^ Matt Baggott, former chief constable of Leicestershire Police (Leveson Inquiry, 28 March 2012): "[A]s a chief constable at the time, there were a number of I think very serious considerations. One for me, and the Gold Group who were running the investigation, which was a UK effort, was very much a respect for the primacy of the Portuguese investigation. We were not in the lead in relation to their investigative strategy. We were merely dealing with enquiries at the request of the Portuguese and managing the very real issues of the local dimension of media handling, so we were not in control of the detail or the facts or where that was going.
    "I think the second issue was there was an issue, if I recall, of Portuguese law. Their own judicial secrecy laws. I think it would have been utterly wrong to have somehow in an off the record way have breached what was a very clear legal requirement upon the Portuguese themselves....
    "There was also an issue for us of maintaining a very positive relationship with the Portuguese authorities themselves. I think this was an unprecedented inquiry in relation to Portugal. The media interest, their own reaction to that. And having a very positive relationship of confidence with the Portuguese authorities I think was a precursor to eventually and hopefully one day successfully resolving what happened to that poor child.
    "So the relationship of trust and confidence would have been undermined if we had gone off the record in some way or tried to put the record straight, contrary to the way in which the Portuguese law was configured and their own leadership of that."[152][153][154]
  7. ^ In July the McCanns went the High Court in London to gain access to 81 pieces of information Leicestershire police held about the sightings, before Portugal released the case files.[168]


  1. ^ "Madeleine McCann, aged progressed to age nine", Scotland Yard; Patrick Barkham, "The sad ageing of Madeleine McCann", The Guardian, 25 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Missing child", Polícia Judiciária.
  3. ^ a b "Master of media circus for Madeleine McCann", The Daily Telegraph, 24 April 2008.
  4. ^ a b Gordon Rayner, "Madeleine McCann latest: are police any closer to knowing the truth?", The Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b For 50 metres/yards, "Kidnapping concern for missing girl in Portugal", Reuters, 4 May 2007; for 60 yards as the crow flies, and a 90-yard walk, Summers and Swan 2014, 12.
  6. ^ Esther Addley, "Madeleine McCann: hope and persistence rewarded", The Guardian, 27 April 2012
  7. ^ a b c Fiona Govan, Nick Britten, "Madeleine McCann: Kate and Gerry cleared of 'arguido' status by Portuguese police", The Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Madeleine McCann’s parents have not been ruled innocent, judge says", The Daily Telegraph, 9 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b Sandra Laville, "British detectives release efits of Madeleine McCann suspect", The Guardian, 14 October 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Madeleine McCann case: Portuguese police reopen inquiry", BBC News, 24 October 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Jessica Elgot, "Madeleine McCann: Met reduces officers on case from 29 to four", The Guardian, 28 October 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Nicola Rehling, "'Touching Everyone': Media Identifications, Imagined Communities and New Media Technologies in the Case of Madeleine McCann", in Ruth Parkin-Gounelas (ed.), The Psychology and Politics of the Collective: Groups, Crowds and Mass Identifications, New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 2012, 152.
  13. ^ a b Eilis O'Hanlon, "Eilis O'Hanlon: The sad rise of cyber courts full of Twittering bullies", Sunday Independent (Ireland), 29 April 2012.

    Brian Cathcart, "The Real McCann Scandal", New Statesman, 23 October 2008.

  14. ^ a b Mark Sweney and Leigh Holmwood, "McCanns accept Express damages and high court apology", The Guardian, 19 March 2008.
    Owen Gibson, "Express Newspapers forced to apologise to McCann family over Madeleine allegations", The Guardian, 19 March 2008.
    Roy Greenslade, "Express and Star apologies to McCanns bring all journalism into disrepute", The Guardian, 19 March 2008.

    "Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry", Sunday Express, 23 March 2008; "Kate & Gerry McCann: Sorry", Daily Star Sunday, 23 March 2008.

  15. ^ James Robinson, "Leveson inquiry: McCanns deliver damning two-hour testimony", The Guardian, 23 November 2011.
  16. ^ a b Kate and Gerry McCann's testimony, Leveson Inquiry, 23 November 2011; also on YouTube, part 1/3, 2/3, 3/3.

    Witness statement of Gerry McCann, Leveson Inquiry, signed 30 October 2011.

  17. ^ Gordon Raynor, "Madeleine McCann: parents' court bid for information ", The Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2008.
  18. ^ Kate McCann, Madeleine, London: Bantam Press, 2011, 124–125.
  19. ^ Gerry McCann, "Where is Madeleine McCann?" (transcript), Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN, 11 May 2011.
  20. ^ Also see "McCann, Madeleine Beth", Interpol; "How common is Madeleine's eye defect?", BBC News, 21 February 2008.
  21. ^ Haroon Siddique, "Madeleine McCann's parents release picture of how she might look now", The Guardian, 1 May 2009.
  22. ^ "Madeleine McCann: Police release new 'age progression' image", The Daily Telegraph, April 2012.
  23. ^ McCann 2011, 7–10, 18–19.
  24. ^ "Dr Gerry McCann", University of Leicester.
  25. ^ Also see Des Spence, "Madeleine McCann", BMJ, 334(7604), 2 June 2007, 1168. doi:10.1136/bmj.39231.432211.59 JSTOR 0507311
  26. ^ McCann 2011, 11, 17, 26, 37.
  27. ^ McCann 2011, 42.
  28. ^ Angela Balakrishnan, "Key players in the McCann case", The Guardian, 10 April 2008; "Who are the McCann tapas seven?", BBC News, 16 October 2008.
  29. ^ a b McCann 2011, 76.
  30. ^ a b c d e Judy Bachrach, "Unanswered Prayers", Vanity Fair, October 2008.
  31. ^ a b Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine McCann: Apartment was not made crime scene for two months", The Daily Telegraph, 8 August 2008.
  32. ^ Angela Balakrishnan, "The resort that was rocked one night in May", The Guardian, 11 April 2008.
  33. ^ McCann 2011, 45.
  34. ^ DCI Andy Redwood, Crimewatch, BBC, 14 October 2013, from 00:20:02.
  35. ^ a b c d e Angela Balakrishnan, "What happened on the day Madeleine disappeared?", The Guardian, 11 April 2008.
  36. ^ "Searching for Madeleine", Dispatches, Channel 4, 18 October 2007, 00:15:21.
  37. ^ Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan, Looking For Madeleine, London: Headline Publishing Group, 2014.
  38. ^ "Searching for Madeleine", Dispatches, Channel 4, 18 October 2007, 00:06:25.
  39. ^ McCann 2011, 62–64.
  40. ^ Giles Tremlett, "McCanns release last picture of Madeleine before she vanished", The Guardian, 25 May 2007.
  41. ^ McCann 2011, 67, 69.
  42. ^ McCann 2011, 56, 325.
  43. ^ a b McCann 2011, 69–70.
  44. ^ a b c Bridget O'Donnell, "My months with Madeleine", The Guardian, 14 December 2007.
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k David James Smith, "Kate and Gerry McCann: Beyond the smears", The Sunday Times, 16 December 2007.
  46. ^ Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine McCann: Map 'shows where abductor was spotted'", The Daily Telegraph, 5 August 2008.
  47. ^ "Madeleine was here", Channel 4 Cutting Edge, 10 May 2009, 4/5, 00:02:36.
  48. ^ McCann 2011, 84.
  49. ^ McCann 2011, 230, 273, 370.
  50. ^ Michelle Pauli, "Is this Madeleine McCann's abductor?", The Guardian, 26 October 2007.

    Martin Hodgson, "McCanns release sketch of man seen near apartment", The Guardian, 26 October 2007.

  51. ^ a b c d e f Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, "Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years", The Sunday Times, 27 October 2013.
  52. ^ Peter Walker, "Madeleine McCann inquiry shifts as sighting found to be false lead", The Guardian, 14 October 2013.
  53. ^ DCI Andy Redwood, BBC Crimewatch, 14 October 2013, 00:21:43; Scotland Yard believe this British tourist was the man Tanner saw.
  54. ^ DCI Andy Redwood, BBC Crimewatch, 14 October 2013, from 00:22:25.
  55. ^ "Madeleine McCann: Few people rent apartment 5A since Maddie vanished", Irish Independent, 5 May 2012.
  56. ^ a b c McCann 2011, 98.
  57. ^ "Madeleine was here", Cutting Edge, Channel 4 (UK), 10 May 2009, 4/5, 00:05:55; Crimewatch, BBC, 14 October 2013, from 00:23:35.
  58. ^ Patrick Counihan, "Irish couple key witnesses as British police launch new enquiry into Madeleine McCann case", Irish Central, 14 October 2013.
  59. ^ a b McCann 2011, 123.
  60. ^ BBC Crimewatch, 14 October 2013, from 00:23:35.
  61. ^ "Madeleine was here", Channel 4 Cutting Edge, 10 May 2009, 1/5, 00:00:45.
  62. ^ McCann 2011, 71–73.
  63. ^ McCann 2011, 74.
  64. ^ "Searching for Madeleine", Dispatches, Channel 4, 18 October 2007, 00:08:36; for the first search being abandoned at 4:30 am: 00:09:33.
  65. ^ a b McCann 2011, 75, 78, 85.
  66. ^ "Madeleine McCann: The evidence", BBC News, 8 September 2007.
  67. ^ "Searching for Madeleine", Channel 4 Dispatches, 18 October 2007, 00:20:20; for volunteers: 00:43:32.
  68. ^ a b c Paul Hamilos and Brendan de Beer, "Detective leading hunt for Madeleine sacked after blast at UK police", The Guardian, 3 October 2007.
  69. ^ "Madeleine evidence 'may be lost'", BBC News, 17 June 2007.
  70. ^ McCann 2011, 78.
  71. ^ Richard Edwards, "The 15 key blunders", The Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2007.
  72. ^ Collins 2008, xxxi–xxxii.
  73. ^ Steven Morris, "Q&A: Madeleine McCann", The Guardian, 8 May 2007.
  74. ^ Richard Edwards and Fiona Govan, "Maddy police ignored vital CCTV", The Daily Telegraph 19 May 2007.
  75. ^ a b c Fiona Govan, "Madeleine McCann's death 'covered up by parents who faked kidnap', court hears", The Daily Telegraph, 12 January 2010.
  76. ^ Danny Collins, Vanished, London: John Blake, 2008 (paperback edition).
  77. ^ Giles Tremlett, "With prejudice", The Guardian, 17 September 2007.
  78. ^ Ben Dowell, "McCanns' PR steps down", The Guardian, 13 September 2007.
  79. ^ McCann 2011, 148, 268.
  80. ^ Cole Morton, "Clarence Mitchell: 'I am a decent human being. If I can help them, I will'", The Independent on Sunday, 1 March 2009.
  81. ^ Rehling 2012, 153.
  82. ^ Jonathan Freedland, "Madeleine: a grimly compelling story that will end badly for us all", The Guardian, 12 September 2007.
  83. ^ For more on media coverage, John Jewell, "Innuendo becomes currency of news in Madeleine McCann case", The Conversation, 11 October 2013.
  84. ^ Helena Machado and Barbara Prainsack, "Setting the Scene: Portugal", Tracing Technologies: Prisoners' Views in the Era of Csi, New York and Abingdon: Routledge 2016 [Ashgate Publishing, 2012], 52–53.
  85. ^ Julia Kennedy, "Don't you forget about me: An exploration of the 'Maddie Phenomenon' on YouTube", Journalism Studies, 11(2), 2010, 225–242.
  86. ^ a b c Giles Tremlett, "Madeleine disappearance: Briton's villa searched and three questioned by police", The Guardian, 15 May 2007.
  87. ^ "Robert Murat holds Cambridge Union spellbound in tabloids debate", University of Cambridge, 6 March 2009; "Murat addresses Cambridge Union", BBC News, 5 March 2009.
  88. ^ a b c David James Smith, Steven Swinford and Richard Woods, "Victims of the rumour mill?", The Sunday Times, 9 September 2007.
  89. ^ "Profile: Robert Murat", BBC News, 21 July 2008.
  90. ^ Haroon Siddique, "McCann friends confront Madeleine suspect", The Guardian, 13 July 2007; McCann 2011, 134–136; Summers and Swan 2014, 89.
  91. ^ "Russian denies links to Madeleine", BBC News, 17 May 2007.

    "New Madeleine search draws blank", BBC News, 6 August 2007.

  92. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 89; "Murat friend quizzed over Madeleine finds car torched - and the word 'speak' scrawled beside it", London Evening Standard, 21 March 2008.
  93. ^ a b Brendan de Beer, "Madeleine McCann case: Portuguese police question four suspects", The Guardian, 1 July 2014.
  94. ^ a b Brendan de Beer, Josh Halliday, "Madeleine McCann case: first suspect Robert Murat re-interviewed as witness", The Independent, 10 December 2014.
  95. ^ a b DCI Andy Redwood, "Madeleine McCann Special", BBC Crimewatch, 14 October 2013, from 00:30:45.
  96. ^ Collins 2008, 202–203.
  97. ^ a b McCann 2011, 373.
  98. ^ a b McCann 2011, 469–473; "'Very ugly' new Madeleine suspect", BBC News, 6 May 2009; "Madeleine was here", Cutting Edge, Channel 4, 10 May 2009, 3/5, 00:03:30; for the white van: 00:05:58.
  99. ^ "Madeleine was here", Channel 4 Cutting Edge, 10 May 2009, 3/5, from 00:03:27.
  100. ^ McCann 2011, 375.
  101. ^ BBC Crimewatch, 14 October 2013, 00:24:45.
  102. ^ Richard Edwards, "We're good parents not suspects, say McCanns", The Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2007.

    José Manuel Oliveira, Paula Martinheira, "PJ teme que pista marroquina de Madeleine resulte em nada", Diario de Noticias, 7 June 2007.

  103. ^ a b McCann 2011, 189.
  104. ^ Felicia Cabrita and Margarida Davim, "The Madeleine Case: A Pact of Silence", Sol, 30 June 2007.
  105. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 136–137.
  106. ^ Summers and Swan, 136.
  107. ^ a b Witness statements, Gerry McCann, Polícia Judiciária, Portimão, 4 May 2007 and 10 May 2007.
  108. ^ Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, Polícia Judiciária, report to the coordinator of the investigation, 10 September 2007, Polícia Judiciária files, vol X, 2587–2602.
  109. ^ a b Collins 2008, 211–212.
  110. ^ Witness statement, Gerry McCann, Polícia Judiciária, Portimão, 10 May 2007.
  111. ^ McCann 2011, 73.
  112. ^ David Brown, "Puzzles and mysteries at the very heart of the investigation", The Times, 10 September 2007.
  113. ^ Collins 2008, 208–212.
  114. ^ Victoria Burnett, "As a Child Disappears, Old Headlines Howl Again", The New York Times, 18 September 2007.
  115. ^ Richard Bilton, "Madeleine: The Last Hope?", BBC Panorama, 25 April 2012, 00:14:33.
  116. ^ Ben Goldacre, "After Madeleine, why not Bin Laden?", The Guardian, 13 October 2007.
  117. ^ McCann 2011, 186–187, 197, 199.
  118. ^ a b Mark Townsend and Ned Temko, "Forensic DNA tests 'reveal traces of Madeleine's body on resort beach'", The Guardian, 7 October 2007.
  119. ^ "Judge admits Madeleine's case was at a 'dead end' in December –but it took another 7 months to clear McCanns", London Evening Standard, 12 August 2008.
  120. ^ Summer and Swan 2014, 141–142.
  121. ^ Brendan McDaid, "Top sniffer dog to join Maddy search", Belfast Telegraph, 8 August 2007.

    For information on Keela: "Top Dog", South Yorkshire Police.

  122. ^ Summer and Swan 2014, 149.
  123. ^ a b c Video of Keela and Eddie, giving alerts in the car park, 5A and elsewhere, Polícia Judiciária files.
  124. ^ a b Martin Grime, report to investigators, Polícia Judiciária files, vol. 9, August 2007, 2462–2498, released 4 August 2008.
  125. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 147–148.
  126. ^ McCann 2011, 206–207.
  127. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 149.
  128. ^ McCann 2011, 206–207; Processo, vol. 8, 2110, and vol. 10, 2582–2584, Polícia Judiciária files, released 4 August 2008.
  129. ^ McCann 2011, 241; Summers and Swan 2014, 152.
  130. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 152–153.
  131. ^ a b Summers and Swan 2014, 153.
  132. ^ Andrew Alderson and Tom Harper, "The allegations facing the McCanns", The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2007.
  133. ^ Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine McCann's parents look to US sniffer dog case", The Daily Telegraph, 17 August 2007.
  134. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 154–156.
  135. ^ Sandra Laville, "UK lab to test blood found in Madeleine room", The Guardian, 7 August 2007.
  136. ^ Helena Machado and Filipe Santos, "Popular press and forensic genetics in Portugal: Expectations and disappointments regarding two cases of missing children", Public Understanding of Science, 20(3), May 2011 (303–318), 312–313.
  137. ^ For background, see "Low Copy Number DNA testing in the Criminal Justice System", Crown Prosecution Service,
  138. ^ John Lowe, Forensic Science Service, Birmingham, email to Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, Leicestershire police, 3 September 2007, released 4 August 2008.
  139. ^ James Orr, Brendan de Beer and agencies, "UK police warned on DNA evidence before McCanns became suspects", The Guardian, 4 August 2008.
  140. ^ McCann 2011, 331.
  141. ^ a b Summers and Swan 2014, 158.
  142. ^ a b Robert Mendick, "Home Office launches secret review into Madeleine McCann's disappearance", The Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2010.
  143. ^ McCann 2011, 243.
  144. ^ James Sturcke and James Orr, "Kate McCann 'fears Madeleine killing charge over blood traces in car'", The Guardian, 7 September 2007.
  145. ^ "The questions put to Kate McCann", BBC News, 6 August 2008; McCann 2011, 248.
  146. ^ Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine McCann: Portuguese detectives lied to Gerry McCann about DNA evidence", The Daily Telegraph, 4 August 2008.
  147. ^ Gordon Rayner, Caroline Gammell and Nick Britten, "Madeleine McCann DNA 'an accurate match'", The Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2007.
  148. ^ "Searching for Madeleine", Channel 4 Dispatches, 18 October 2007, 00:41:10.
  149. ^ For the Evening Standard, Nicola Goc, "Framing the news: 'bad' mothers and the 'Medea' news frame", Australian Journalism Review, 31(1), 2009 (33–47), 39.
  150. ^ Jerry Lawton: transcript of testimony, Leveson Inquiry, 19 March 2012, afternoon hearing, 85–98.
  151. ^ Lisa O'Carroll, "Leveson inquiry: ex-police chief defends not preventing false McCann DNA reports", The Guardian, 28 March 2012.
  152. ^ Matt Baggott: transcript of testimony, Leveson Inquiry, 28 March 2012, afternoon hearing, 68–71; also see 76–83.
  153. ^ Matt Baggott, Leveson Inquiry, 28 March 2012, afternoon hearing (video), from 104:38 and 115:22.
  154. ^ Matt Baggott's witness statement, Leveson Inquiry, question 50, 22–25.
  155. ^ "Madeleine parents head back to UK", BBC News, 9 September 2007.
  156. ^ Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine judge is known as a tough character", 'The Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2007; David Brown, "Police to study diary and laptop from McCanns", The Times, 12 September 2007.
  157. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 165 (for Kate having asked the Polícia Judiciária to take samples), 213–214 (for Control Risks taking the samples).
    Fiona Govan, "Madeleine McCann's mother takes drug test", The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2007.

    For Control Risks having been involved since May 2007, see David Brown, Patrick Foster, "Private security team hired by Kate and Gerry McCann for secret investigation", The Times, 24 September 2007. For the anonymous donor, see McCann 2011, 125, 273.

  158. ^ Ben Quinn, "WikiLeaks cables: UK police 'developed' evidence against McCanns", The Guardian, 13 December 2010.
  159. ^ For the date of the meeting, "US embassy cables: British police 'developed evidence' against McCanns, Washington told ", The Guardian, 13 December 2010.
  160. ^ "New police chief for McCann case", BBC News, 9 October 2007.
  161. ^ "Madeleine police meet in Britain", BBC News, 29 November 2007.
  162. ^ Angela Balakrishnan and agencies, "Madeleine police head to UK for Tapas Seven interviews", The Guardian, 7 April 2008.
  163. ^ "McCann reconstruction called off", BBC News, 27 May 2008.
  164. ^ "McCanns angry over Madeleine leak", BBC News, 11 April 2008; "Police deny claims of McCann leak", BBC News, 14 April 2008.
  165. ^ "Madeleine police chief quits post", BBC News, 7 May 2008.
  166. ^ Laura Clout, "Madeleine McCann's parents being investigated for negligence", The Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2008.
  167. ^ Brendan de Beer and Ian Cobain, "McCanns hope for end to speculation as police release complete file on Madeleine", The Guardian, 5 August 2008

    Steve Kingston, "Madeleine revelations offer few facts", BBC News, 7 August 2008.

  168. ^ Gordon Rayner, "Madeleine McCann parents gain access to police files", The Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2008.
  169. ^ Caroline Gammell, "Madeleine McCann: E-fits of suspect released for first time", The Daily Telegraph, 5 August 2008.
  170. ^ "Madeleine McCann's parents criticise release of files", BBC News, 6 March 2010.
  171. ^ McCanns' testimony, from 00:75:10; McCann 2011, 333.
  172. ^ McCann 2011, 333; "Paper apology over McCann diary", BBC News, 21 September 2008; McCanns' testimony, Leveson Inquiry, 23 November 2011, 00:71:10.
  173. ^ Martin Evans, "Leveson Inquiry: Kate McCann felt 'mentally raped' after NOTW published private diary", The Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2011.
  174. ^ Haroon Siddique, "Detective's book claims Madeleine McCann died in apartment", The Guardian, 24 July 2008.
  175. ^ Ned Temko, "Madeleine police chief to launch 'explosive' book", The Observer, 20 July 2008.
  176. ^ Ned Temko, "On the front line in the search for Maddie", The Observer, 3 August 2008.
  177. ^ Thais Portilho-Shrimpton, "Detective set to publish McCann book in Britain", The Independent, 16 November 2008.
  178. ^ a b Josh Halliday, Brenden de Beer, "Madeleine McCann's parents win libel damages in trial of police chief", The Guardian, 28 April 2015.
  179. ^ a b "Libel conviction of ex-detective in Madeleine McCann case overturned", The Guardian, 20 April 2016.
  180. ^ "Madeleine McCann's parents lose libel case appeal in Portugal", Press Association, 1 February 2017.
  181. ^ Lucy Pasha-Robinson, "Madeleine McCann's parents launch fresh legal battle over police claims they faked daughter's abduction", The Independent, 19 February 2017.
  182. ^ Giles Tremlett, "Madeleine McCann book ban overturned by Portuguese court", The Guardian, 19 October 2010.
  183. ^ Caroline Gammell, "Detective accused in case of missing girl", The Daily Telegraph, 17 September 2007.
  184. ^ John Bingham, "Madeleine McCann police chief found guilty of falsifying evidence", The Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2009.
  185. ^ "Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited", Companies House,
  186. ^ "Madeleine search fund raised £2m", BBC News, 29 January 2009; "Madeleine's Fund",
  187. ^ "'Why I'm backing McCanns'", Manchester Evening News, 23 September 2007.
  188. ^ a b Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, "Madeleine McCann: 'I listened for 15 seconds and knew they were innocent’", The Daily Telegraph, 10 September 2014.
  189. ^ McCann 2011, 268–269.
  190. ^ "Branson's fund for McCann lawyers", BBC News, 16 September 2007.
  191. ^ "£1.5m reward for Madeleine return", Metro, 12 May 2007.
  192. ^ "Madeleine reward rises to £2.5m", BBC News, 12 May 2007.
  193. ^ "Papers paying damages to McCanns", BBC News, 19 March 2008.
  194. ^ a b Matthew Moore, "Madeleine McCann: Daily Express publishes apology to 'Tapas Seven'", The Daily Telegraph, 16 October 2008.
  195. ^ a b "Transcript of morning hearing, 11 May 2012" (examination of Rebekah Brooks), Leveson Inquiry: Culture Practice and Ethics of the Press,, 99–109.
  196. ^ For a reported ₤1 million, see Richard Bilton, "Madeleine: The Last Hope?", BBC Panorama, 25 April 2012, 00:20:10.
  197. ^ Martin Evans, "Madeleine McCann's parents set to fund their own search", The Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2015.
  198. ^ "Officers", Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited, Companies House,
  199. ^ "Madeleine's Fund statement in full", BBC News, 12 September 2007.
  200. ^ "McCanns used fund to pay mortgage", BBC News, 30 October 2007.
  201. ^ McCann 2011, 125; James Sturcke and agencies, "McCanns still cling to hope, says spokesman", The Guardian, 24 September 2007.
  202. ^ Steven Swinford, John Follainin and Mohamed El Hamraoui, "McCanns send sleuths to Morocco", The Sunday Times, 30 September 2007.
  203. ^ a b c Mark Hollingsworth, "The McCann Files", ES Magazine (London Evening Standard), 24 August 2009.
  204. ^ Chris Irvine and Lucy Cockcroft, "Madeleine McCann: British paedophile Raymond Hewlett is 'significant new suspect'", The Daily Telegraph, 22 May 2009.
    Richard Edwards, "Paedophile Raymond Hewlett agrees to Madeleine McCann interview", The Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2009.
    "Madeleine McCann: Raymond Hewlett gives DNA sample to police", The Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2009.

    Neal Keeling, "A pauper’s funeral for convicted paedophile", Manchester Evening News, 28 April 2010, updated 12 January 2013.

  205. ^ Summers and Swan 2014, 141.
  206. ^ "Madeleine McCann investigators swamped with calls about new lead", The Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2009; "Madeleine McCann: E-fits of suspects", The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2009.
  207. ^ Martina Smit, "Divers search lake for Madeleine McCann", The Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2008; "'Underworld' tip leads to new Maddie hunt", CNN, 12 March 2008; Howard Brereton, "Spanish detective agency confirms bones found are not of missing Madeleine McCann", Typically Spanish, 16 March 2008.
  208. ^ David Lohr, "Madeleine McCann May Be Buried Under Driveway; Authorities Seem Unwilling To Investigate", The Huffington Post, 20 September 2012.
  209. ^ Jerome Taylor, "FBI hunts for investigator paid £500,000 by McCanns", The Independent, 23 November 2009.
  210. ^ McCann 2011, 349–350.
  211. ^ "The McCanns and the Conman", Channel Five, 20 June 2014.
  212. ^ Kevin Sullivan, "Fraud suspect Kevin Richard Halligen allegedly posed as a spy and cheated the elite on both sides of the Atlantic", The Washington Post, 9 June 2012.
  213. ^ a b "Kate and Gerry McCann and Madeleine's Fund", The Sunday Times, 28 December 2013.
  214. ^ William Turvill, "Sunday Times sued by McCanns over story which wrongly claimed evidence was withheld from police", PressGazette, 19 September 2014.
    "Kate and Gerry McCann criticise press after libel payout", BBC News, 3 October 2014.

    Gerry McCann, "Leveson has changed nothing– the media still put 'stories' before the truth", The Guardian, 2 October 2014.

  215. ^ a b Theresa May's testimony, Leveson Inquiry, 29 May 2012, 97–98.
  216. ^ a b c "Freedom of Information Request", Metropolitan Police; "Madeleine McCann: UK police request Portuguese assistance", BBC News, 13 January 2014.
  217. ^ Richard Bilton, "Madeleine: The Last Hope?", BBC Panorama, 25 April 2012, from 00:20:10.
  218. ^ "Madeleine McCann investigation 'cost £10 million to date'", BBC News, 17 September 2015.
  219. ^ Martin Evans, "Detective leading hunt for Madeleine McCann steps down", The Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2014.
  220. ^ "Madeleine McCann 'could be alive' say detectives as new image released", The Daily Telegraph 25 April 2012.
  221. ^ a b DCI Andy Redwood, BBC Crimewatch, 14 October 2013, from 00:26:02.
  222. ^ "Madeleine McCann: Police reveal 'pre-planned abduction' theory", BBC News, 14 October 2013; "Madeleine McCann appeal: Police receive 2,400 calls and emails", BBC News, 17 October 2013.
  223. ^ Fiona Govan, "Madeleine McCann suspect 'may have died in tractor accident'", The Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2013.
  224. ^ Fiona Govan and Jasper Copping, "Maddie: 'suspect could have been deported'", The Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2013.
  225. ^ Josh Halliday and Brendan de Beer, "Madeleine McCann: police investigate sewerage system in Praia da Luz", The Guardian, 5 June 2014.
  226. ^ Brendan de Beer, Josh Halliday, "Madeleine McCann detectives finish questioning suspects", The Guardian, 2 July 2014.
  227. ^ "Madeleine McCann detectives in Portugal again – reports", Press Association, 29 January 2014.
  228. ^ "Madeleine McCann 'abducted during botched burglary'", The Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2016.
  229. ^ "British police continue Madeleine interviews in Portugal", ITV News, 12 December 2014.
  230. ^ Caroline Davies, "Madeleine McCann case: Scotland Yard identifies new leads", The Guardian, 17 May 2013.

    Melanie Hall, "Police hunt six British cleaners in search for Madeleine McCann", The Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2013.

  231. ^ Graham Keely, "Jailed Madeleine suspects questioned over missing child", The Times, 13 November 2013.

    Severin Carrell, "Paedophile couple get life for killing woman who threatened to expose them", The Guardian, 10 June 2010.

  232. ^ David Brown, "Paedophile suicide in new Madeleine link", The Times, 7 August 2007.
  233. ^ "Scotland Yard a enquêté à St-Gall pour l'affaire Maddie", 24 heures, 7 July 2013.
  234. ^ "New appeal following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann", Metropolitan Police; James Meikle, "Madeleine McCann police seek intruder who attacked girls at holiday homes", The Guardian, 19 March 2014; McCann 2011, 323–324.
  235. ^ Brendan de Beer and James Meikle, "Madeleine McCann suspect 'died in 2009'", The Guardian, 20 March 2014.
  236. ^ Tom Morgan, "Sir Clement Freud victim interviewed by Madeleine McCann detectives – reports", The Daily Telegraph", 25 June 2016.
  237. ^ Gordon Rayner, "How Clement Freud invited Kate and Gerry McCann for lunch after Madeleine disappeared", The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2016; McCann 2011, 193–194.

    Martin Evans, Gordon Rayner,"Sir Clement Freud exposed as a paedophile as police urged to probe Madeleine McCann links", The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2016.

  238. ^ Gordon Rayner, Martin Evans, Patrick Sawer, "Police were told two years ago about Clement Freud's Madeleine McCann connection but 'did nothing' victim says", The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2016.
  239. ^ a b Roy Greenslade, "Express and Star apologies to McCanns bring all journalism into disrepute", The Guardian, 19 March 2008.
  240. ^ Rehling 2012, 153–154, 159–161; Machado and Prainsack 2012, 52.

    Also see Chris Greer, Eugene McLaughlin, "Media justice: Madeleine McCann, intermediatization and 'trial by media' in the British press", Theoretical Criminology, November 2012, 16(4), 395–416.

  241. ^ a b Rehling 2012, 159–161.
  242. ^ a b Deborah Orr, "Pistorius's case is an empty vessel into which all our prejudices may be poured", The Guardian, 22 February 2013.
  243. ^ "Petitioners want McCann inquiry", BBC News, 12 June 2007.
  244. ^ Caroline Bainbridge, "'They've taken her!' Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Mediating Maternity, Feeling and Loss", Studies in the Maternal, 2(1), 2012 (1–18), 2–3, 6–7. doi:10.16995/sim.85
  245. ^ Helena Machado, Filipe Santos, "The disappearance of Madeleine McCann: Public drama and trial by media in the Portuguese press", Crime Media Culture, 5(2), August 2009 (146–167), 158.
  246. ^ Dominic Lawson, "Dominic Lawson: This tidal wave of emotional tyranny", The Independent, 10 September 2007.

    Kendall Hill, "McCann Case: The 'Dingo' Mom Speaks", Newsweek, 19 September 2007; Goc 2009, 39.

  247. ^ Goc 2009, 39.
  248. ^ a b Lisa O'Carroll and Jason Deans, "Daily Express editor was 'obsessed' with Madeleine McCann story, inquiry hears", The Guardian, 21 December 2011.
  249. ^ Roy Greenslade, "McCanns take on the Express at last", The Guardian, 13 March 2008.
  250. ^ "Daily Star Editor 'sorry' for McCann distress", BBC News, 12 January 2012.
  251. ^ a b Oliver Luft and John Plunkett, "Madeleine McCann: Newspapers pay out £600,000 to Robert Murat", The Guardian, 17 July 2008.
  252. ^ Mark Townsend and Ned Temko, "Madeleine 'suspect' in massive libel claim", The Observer, 13 April 2008.
  253. ^ Caitlin Fitzsimmons and Leigh Holmwood, "Sky News apologises to Robert Murat over Madeleine McCann story", The Guardian, 14 November 2008.
  254. ^ Rehling 2012, 164–165.
  255. ^ For kidnap threat: Claire Carter and Catarina Aleixo, "Gerry McCann contacted police after abduction threat to twins", The Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2013.

    For threat to disrupt appeal: Colin Freeman, "Madeleine McCann: is there hope at last?", The Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2013.

  256. ^ "Madeleine McCann contempt case: Tony Bennett guilty", BBC News, 21 February 2013; "McCann 'Twitter troll' Brenda Leyland suicide verdict", BBC News, 20 March 2015.


News sources are listed in the Notes section only.


  • Collins, Danny. Vanished, London: John Blake, 2008.
  • McCann, Kate. Madeleine, London: Bantam Press, 2011.
  • Summers, Anthony; Swan, Robbyn. Looking For Madeleine, London: Headline Publishing Group, 2014.


External links