May 3rd 2007, 10pm. News is breaking that 3 year old Madeleine McCann, has been snatched from the hotel apartment she was staying in. Before long the streets of Praia da Luz are awash with locals and tourists; people desperately trying to find any trace of Madeleine. The beams from torches cut through the night sky, tracking any movements down the dark side streets. Madeleine's name echoes through the air. Some of the people who've volunteered have children of their own safe at home; they can't begin to imagine what Madeleine's parents must be going through.
Police officers are searching too, some of them off duty; volunteering their time to find Madeleine. The hours pass by, it's getting cold now, no word, no sign. Still everyone searches, where could she be. People are getting tired, yet still they search, hoping that Madeleine will turn up, maybe around the next corner. What must the parents be going through?
So what were the parents going through? Well we know from the statements, that after a 40 minute delay in calling the police, they arrive within minutes to find Kate and Gerry on their knees, wailing and beating the floor with their palms. An act that immediately aroused the suspicions of GNR officer, José Maria Batista Roque.
Roque stated that he, "...found the parents to be nervous and anxious, he did not see any tears from either of them although they produced noises identical to crying. He did not feel that this was an abduction, although this was the line indicated by the father."
click here to read Jose Maria Batista Roque's statement
The police have a look around the apartment, brief statements are taken, then Kate and Gerry are left whilst the officers take to the streets to search with the volunteers.
At approximately 3am, and according to Kate McCann as written in her propaganda pamphlet entitled "madeleine" (all lower case), Kate describes the following scenario.
"On my insistence, Gerry and Dave went out again to look for some sign of Madeleine. They went up and down the beach in the dark, running, shouting..."
Now I'm not suggesting Kate is lying in her book, despite it's many inconsistencies, but David Payne, the man she describes as searching with Gerry, has a different version of events. Payne doesn't mention shouting, he doesn't mention running, indeed he hardly mentions searching, in fact the crux of his recollection, is that he spent the time consoling Gerry on the beach. Taken from Payne's rogatory statement, dated 11th April 2008.
"We went down err through past the Ocean Club reception, we went down err to the beach and in between all this you know Kate and Gerry were just breaking down you know just their behaviour was, you know was never questioned or did I ever think there was anything strange about you know their behaviour and how they would, they would act, you know in such a set of circumstances and you know Gerry's a very stoical person and you know, I think you know its the way that he's conducted himself over the past few months you know, and he broke down with me on the front, you know. You know just very obviously a broken man, and you know we spent some time you know, not long, I was trying my best to console him, we went back then to the err the apartment..."
click here to read David Payne's full rogatory statement
Do you see a recurring theme? It's all about Kate and Gerry McCann, and how they were feeling. How about giving the would be father of the year a good talking to, and telling him straight, "get a grip you selfish man, your 3 year old daughter is missing, and you're sat on a beach doing nothing"
Oddly enough, David Payne makes no mention of any searching in his previous statement, dated 4th May 2007.
At 6am Kate and Gerry step out of the Payne's apartment where they spent the night with the twins. Conveniently, Kate states that nobody saw either her or Gerry. Are we seriously supposed to believe, that at 6am, there wasn't a single person out on the streets, no hotel workers, no delivery drivers, nobody whatsoever? Well according to Kate that's exactly what happened:
"As soon as it was light, Gerry and I returned to our search"
What search would that be then?
"We went up and down roads we'd never seen before having barely left the Ocean Club complex all week. We jumped over walls and raked through undergrowth. We looked in ditches and holes. All was quiet apart from the sound of barking dogs, which added to the eeriness of the atmosphere I remember opening a big dumpster-type bin and saying to myself please God don't let her be in here. The most striking and horrific thing about it all was that we were completely alone. Nobody else, it seemed was out looking for Madeleine. Just us, her parents."
If you believe the abduction fairy tale, wouldn't you agree, 6am was 8 hours too damn late?
Kate goes on to say,
"We must have been out for at least an hour before returning to David and Fiona's apartment..."
At least an hour? Oh you poor things.
Kate and Gerry were indeed spotted that morning. Paolo Jorge Fernandes Neto a serving officer with the GNR stated in his statement dated 27th May 2008, that:
"He remembers that he saw the McCann couple at about 07.00 alone in the street next to the site where they were stationed."
Despite many lying McCann supporters stating the contrary, nowhere in the above statement, does Paolo Jorge Fernandes Neto state that he witnessed Kate or Gerry McCann "searching".
Click here to read Paolo Jorge Fernandes Neto's statement
In fact there isn't a single independent witness that states they saw Kate or Gerry McCann out searching for Madeleine.
Kate even admits in a recorded interview with Jane Hill, that they didn't physically search.
click here to watch the video
A fact backed up by a former Ocean Club employee, who in the following video said,
"My colleagues were indignant, because they went (searching). One of them even had his feet all red, tired, and he was offended because he went to search, though he wasn't related to the girl, and the parents didn't. They stayed indoors, in the apartment."
click here to watch the video
John Hill, the Ocean Club manager also states he didn't see Kate or Gerry searching:
When questioned he stated that the search operations that he organised finished at about 04.30. Elements from the PJ and GNR reinforcements with sniffer dogs were still at the scene.
He wishes to add that he does not know of any motive that could have been the cause of the Madeleine's disappearance.
On the night of the disappearance he always saw the McCanns together in the apartment they were occupying at the time, with the exception of an episode when Gerry went to the main 24 hour reception, with the purpose of speaking to a GNR officer, he is not sure at what time this occurred, but it was certainly before 24.00.
In the months that followed Madeleine's disappearance, and in a classic case of do as we say, not as we do, Kate and Gerry McCann would go on to publicly slate the Portuguese Police force for not doing enough to search for Madeleine. Perhaps they both thought that phoning family and friends back in the UK was a far better way of bringing their 3 year old little girl back to them. Or maybe, as has been evident throughout the whole time Madeleine has been missing, they think it better that others search for their, as Gerry said, "almost perfect" little girl.
Gerry McCann was reported as saying, "Find the body, and prove we killed her"
I'm not going to state that quote is genuine, as it is hard to trace back to a primary source, however...
...if only Gerry and Kate had acted like normal devastated parents and searched with the strangers who looked throughout the night, who knows, they might have found her, and proved they weren't involved. Sadly both the evidence, and their behaviour, suggests they knew that was never going to be the case.
Interestingly, and in stark contrast, this was the immediate reaction of Sara Payne on hearing her daughter Sarah was missing:
"I didn't stop to ask what had happened , there was only one thing on my mind - I had to find Sarah now. Snapping into action , I reached for Charlotte and pulled her with me towards the lane that runs along beside the house. Shouting 'Sarah,Sarah at the tops of our voices, we frantically searched up and down Peake Lane, pulling aside brambles with our bare arms and looking under hedges. Meanwhile Mike grabbed the boys and headed into the corn field where they began beating back the crops , some of which were over four feet tall, to see if she was hidden there."
A more cynical man would say Kate took Sara Payne's book, and used her words...but surely that would be going too far...wouldn't it?