Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gerry McCann: Did You Kill Your Daughter

"Yes or no" Questions are generally avoided by skillful interviewers until they have first asked open-ended questions and carefully worded follow up questions, utilizing the subject's own language.  

For innocent parents, even under public pressure, the strength of truth is something instinctively protective.  

"One could never prove I killed my daughter because I didn't.  But, I love my daughter and right now, I do not know if she is being fed, and I must now..."

The language of concern for Madeleine's present state and the kidnapping itself, should dominate the language. 

In basic analysis, we will even count words. 

How many words are dedicated to:

a.  Madeleine's current health and well being in hands of a kidnapper?
b.  Touching the heart of the kidnapper to release her?


c.  How many words are dedicated to proving that which needs no proving?

This is the "Wall of Truth" that produces confidence, and sometimes, under constant accusation, dismissal.  

Dismissal in light of something quite particular:  

The innocent (de facto) father cares for little but what Maddie is going through and how to facilitate her release.  You can accuse him all day long but his words are going to either ignore or dismiss the false claim because his priority is not defense but getting his daughter back.  

Analysis of the McCann interview can be found in three parts.  Here is Part One.  We allow a subject's words to guide us. 

We presuppose truth and innocence.  We only conclude guilt and deception if the subject talks us into it.  

What millions have felt instinctively, we show using principles that are timeless.  

In this, the language reveals that Madeleine died an unintentional death and the parents engaged in a criminal cover up for the purpose of self preservation. 

The theme of "self" has been consistent in the decade since their daughter's death. 

In part three, you will see the scenario that the parents set up for us and how effectively they concealed their daughter's remains.  

It is within the language that we see that Madeleine was very likely sedated, regularly, but on the night in question, something went wrong.  The dosage was not correct.  She may have ceased breathing, or she may have awakened and fallen and was either deceased or beyond savings.  

The McCanns would have faced Negligence charges as well as professional consequences.  

They chose to deceive and protect themselves.  

Behavioral Analysis post crime shows the pattern of deceivers:  attacking the doubters, emotional manipulation and self promotion; all unnecessary in the "Wall of Truth" we find in the statements of the de facto innocent.  (all are judicially "innocent" under presumption).  

IR:  Did you Kill Your Daughter? 

Gerry McCann -"
Q: Did you kill your daughter?

GM: - No…no…never…and you know,  there’s nothing with any logic that could, you know, you’d have to start with why, you know, how, when, who and tha…that’s just simply you know that’s what any these things is there’s nothing to suggest anything so no – that’s an emphatic no.

This is a short portion from a video.  The transcripts were posted and the accuracy of the analysis is based upon the accuracy of the transcripts.  

update:  there is some editing out, making it difficult to get an accurate transcript.  

The question was direct:  "Did you kill your daughter?"

Statement Analysis of the interviews that the McCanns have given is consistent:

The child was not kidnapped nor missing.  

The parents' language made the case simple to follow.  Behavioral Analysis was consistent with the language.  

Parents of kidnapped children move quickly due to instinct.  This happens with or without police intervention.  

1.  They call out for their child.  This is a natural instinct.  They cannot cease thinking about the current status of their child and this will come into their language.  

2.  They will show concern for the immediate needs of the child.  In their language there will be questions about her favorite toy, food, care, medicine, etc.  

3.  They will plead with the kidnapper.  They will do exactly what a parent does when someone babysits:  ensure proper care.  

4.  They will accept nothing less than the return.  

The language will be dominant.  

5.  They will incessantly remember some small detail and facilitate the flow of information.  They will be impatient with police, searchers, etc.  

6.  They will not allow for any possibility of anything other than the truth.  This is called the "wall of truth" and is very powerful.  

They will not entertain possibilities of guilt for themselves.  See Kate McCann's embedded confession.  

In the case of Madeleine McCann, we followed the parents' words.  

People who support the idea of kidnapping will say the words the McCanns refused to say.  

Interviewer:  Did you Kill Your Daughter? 


a.  "No."  

This may exist by itself.  This would shift the burden of conversational politeness to the Interviewer because the question should be a complete disconnect from reality.  This is because the subject will be so far removed from the possibility that he or she will allow the silence to push the interviewer to find another question or rebuttal.  There is an "indifference" to accusations because it is not true.  

Yet, even further here, we have seen cases where one can say "no" because the subject did not directly cause the death.  

In one case, a man said, "I did not kill her" because he had injected his girlfriend with an unintentionally lethal dosage of heroin.  The drug killed her, not him.  

Yes or No questions are not powerful questions.  Yet, in this case, the IR felt the need to ask and we are able to analyze the answer.  

In "yes or no" questions, investigators often count every word after the word "no" as unnecessary.  

b.  "No.  She was kidnapped and we must..." moving directly into action of not giving up, finding the kidnapper, pleading for good care for Madeleine, and so on. 


a.  Avoidance
b.  Sensitivity to the question 
c.  Need to persuade 
Gerry McCann  -"
Q: Did you kill your daughter?

GM: - No…no…never…and you know,  there’s nothing with any logic that could , you know, you’d have to start with why, you know, how, when, who and tha…that’s just simply you know that’s what any these things is there’s nothing to suggest anything so no – that’s an emphatic no."

Let's look at his answer:

Q: Did you kill your daughter?

GM: - No…no…never…and you know,  there’s nothing with any logic that could, (?) you know, you’d have to start with why, you know, how, when, who and tha…that’s just simply you know that’s what any these things is there’s nothing to suggest anything so no – that’s an emphatic no.

We begin with "no" and count every word added to it, weakening the response.  

"no" is repeated;

"never" is unreliable as this was a single specific event.  

Never is used to span indefinite or lengthy time.  

This is the biological father regarding a single event that took place at a specific location, date and time.  "Never" seeks vagueness. 

Not only is it technically "unreliable", it is most unexpected here.  

a.  "And you know, there's nothing with any logic that could, you know."

First notice the avoidance of the simple word "no" making the question sensitive to him. 

Even after years of a public accusing him of killing her daughter the expectation remains that parental instinct will deny death and hold to still recovering her.  

b. "you know" is a pause, showing our second indicator of sensitivity to the question.  This actually speaks to the need to consider what to say rather than the word "no" alone, which would then put the interview burden upon the interviewer to deal with the denial.  

The blunt "no" is used by several:

1.  The actual innocent use it.  This is especially important in the context of biological child. 

2.  Those who do not wish to facilitate the flow of information will use it when they are deliberately practicing short answers.  See 911 call of former police chief Will McCollum for an example of "pulling teeth" to get information.  

c.  "you know" is not only avoidance of "yes or no", and a pause for time to think, it is also a habit of speech that arises when a subject has acute awareness of either the interviewer and/or the interviewer/audience (TV).  

What do we do with a habit of speech?

We note what words provoke it and what words do not.

Here, the simple "yes or no" question has produced sensitivity indicators which means that the question of killing her is sensitive.  

He could have said, "no", even if they had blamed the sedation or accident on the death, yet it may be that the subject is considering himself as ultimately responsible, as a father.  

I have some concerns from their language about other activities that I did not address in the interview due to the technical nature of the principles (it would have been beyond explaining to a general audience) but even in such cases of possible sexual abuse, we find complexity.  This complexity can show itself as incongruent language;  one is a caring responsible parent at times, while a negligent, abusive parent another time.  

Here, we may consider that the subject might be considering his own culpability in her death, even if unintended as the language indicates.  

The sensitivity continues to this question:  

"And you know, there's nothing with any logic that could, you know... 

"you know"  is repeated.  This question is to be considered "very sensitive" to him. 

Now:  "And you know, there's nothing with any logic that kids could, you know... 

"there's nothing" goes immediately to proving his innocence, rather than denying any responsibility for Madeleine's death. 

This is a signal of self preservation and explains the need to pause and the increases in sensitivity: 

he must protect himself rather than deny. 

"There's nothing" (what does "nothing" look like?) is now qualified:

"with any logic"

Rather than deny killing his daughter, he now employs as a distraction, motive. 

An innocent has no need to explore motive, true enough, but so much more when we consider context:

He is using energy to defend himself by refusing to deny, but by claiming it is not logical.  Yet, the broken sentence indicates self censoring.  

Instead of saying "no" and allowing the wall of truth to leave it there, he avoids a denial and introduces the word "logic" where he should have complete linguistic disinterest.  

Even if he had been arrested, this would be something his attorney would argue while he, the innocent, would be focused upon negotiations and pleadings with the kidnapper to:

a.  return Maddie

b.  feed her
c.  give her her favorite ______-
d.  share information with the kidnapper to comfort Maddie
e. express the utter impotence that inflames parental instinct

Maddie was three.  

This means he had, from the beginning, rocked her to sleep, held her to comfort her, relieved her distress in changing diaper, making her warm, etc, and had kissed and bandaged her falls and cuts. 

Suddenly, in a kidnapping, this is all stolen from him.  It causes traumatic frustration in un fulfilled  parental instinct.  It can cause mental health issues. 

Consider the ancient wisdom about the mother bear robbed of her whelps.  

Parental instinct is powerful and creative.  

It is also missing from the language of the parents.  

Question:  How could this be?

Answer:   Acceptance of Madeleine's death.  

It is in death's acceptance that the instinctive frustration is extinguished --and even this takes time. 

The language of parents who have lost children to death reveals this frustration.  They feel guilty for not being able to intervene any longer in their child and it takes time to process and resolve into acceptance.  

Even mothers who have found their children dead will often "rub" them trying to warm their bodies, and cover them with a blanket to "protect, shield and dignify" the child.  It is heartbreaking.  

Falsely accused of missing children care little or nothing for accusers, articles, personal insults; they just want their child back.  "just" being the operative word:  the other issues pale in comparison. 

Here we see the priority of the subject come through in his answer:

Rather than denial, he indicates that he has explored various explanations in logic.  

It is like saying "it does not make sense."

Consider this statement in line with his wife's statement about normal and routine where things "did not" go wrong.  This was likely a reference to sedation.  

If you've ever had a fussy sick child, you were glad to have medicine that alleviated the symptoms and helped the child fall asleep. It is in everyone's best interest. 

Now consider an anesthesiologist as a professional and listen to the interview. 

"And you know, there's nothing with any logic that could, you know... 

It is not just "logic" but further exploration of "any" logic.  This is to broaden a personal defense rather than deny according to the question. 

"And you know, there's nothing with any logic that could, you know... 

Any logic that "could", in regard to the question of killing his daughter.  This speaks to the application of "any logic" in the future/conditional tense.  

He is addressing defense proofs in a scenario that does not exist.  he is not in court and...

his child is still "missing" and in someone else's hands, allegedly, according to the narrative.  

In what could have been a very boring question, we find a pattern emerge:

The need to persuade rather than truthfully report.  

This is the theme of his answer. 

He begins with a diversion to become argumentative in  a position where no argument is needed. 

He does not move towards Madeleine linguistically (as expected) but is in "self" mode, specifically in motive or evidence.  

Rather than deny, the sensitivity continues. 

This is an abundance of words that are employed rather than the single word "no."

You would have to start with why? 

He wants to know what "you" (interviewer/audience) thinks of motive.  

Q.  Why would he want this?

A.  so he can attempt to rebut it. 

This affirms consistency of unintended death by negligence.  The focus is upon self, not the denial and not the child.  

After "why" (motive) he now continues: 


This is the methodology that he addresses rather than saying "no."


This is the time frame of Maddie's death that is concerning to him.  


This is to answer the question "Did you...?" with a question, "Who?"

What does this mean?

Beyond the obvious "answering a question with a question" that parents of teenagers know all about, he is signaling that "did you?", singular, is insufficient. 

This is an indicator that both parents were in agreement with the sedation, neglect and cover up, and have been since.  

And there's just 
simply, you know, no answer to any of these things 

Here he presents the questions and tells us in passive voice that there are "just simply, you know, no answer", which is singular. 

There are answers. 

"just simply" is to make a simple conclusion from one who has, still, refused to answer the question.  

"just" is a dependent word indicating he is comparing "simple" to "complex" (or something that is not simple). 

This comes from not a single question, but a series of questions:

1.  Why?

2. How?

3.  When?

4.  Who?

The order is important.  

None of the questions has to do with kidnapping.  All are presupposing that Madeline is deceased.  

It is interesting to note that "who" comes after "how" and "when."  This makes "who" at the bottom.  "Why?" is first.  

– there's nothing 
to suggest anything. 

Here the question is about killing his daughter, not about how she was killed. 

It is not about when she was killed.

It was not about who killed her. 

It is about "you"; with "Did you kill your daughter?"

He introduces, in his answer, other questions which not only avoid the denial, but also avoid any assertion that Madeleine was "taken" from them by a kidnapper.  

This is not part of his verbalized perception of reality, nor has it been. 

From the beginning, they used language that indicated acceptance of her death. 

As parents, they showed no linguistic concern for her well being under a kidnapper, when asked.  

This is not because they are uncaring but it is because they knew she was not with a kidnapper and she was beyond the workings of parental protective and provisional instincts.  

He now gets to the answer:

So no – 

The "no" is conditional.  He answers, "Did you kill your daughter" by a conditional response:

Since he has no answers as to "how" and "when" he therefore ("so") issues "no" but immediately weakens it with unnecessary emphasis:  

that's an emphatic 'no'."

He even employs the word "emphatic" as a need to persuade.  

Analysis Conclusion:

The question "Did you kill your daughter" is given enough sensitivity indicators to conclude:

Deception Indicated

This indicates parental responsibility.  He is not one who has utterly divorced himself from it.  This should be understood in light of being a father:

His daughter was supposed to be in the hands of a stranger, yet as a father, he gave no linguistic concern for her well being, nor attempts to retrieve her. 

By the time he gets to a denial, he has already given us an abundance of information, particularly, that Madeleine was never "missing" and "alive" via the presentation of questions. 

The questions are designed to divert, but the specific questions chosen reveal his own thinking.  

Even when deceptive people speak, we must listen as their words reveal content.  

Here, his words reveal careful consideration to potential criminal litigation against him rather than assertion of both innocence and the kidnapping of the child.  

This is consistent with the McCanns' statements throughout the years, as well as their media campaign and attacks upon those who refuse to believe them. 


Loz said...

That was brilliant, enjoyed it very much peter , thankyou , loz

Unknown said...

Well done Peter, keep up the good work.

Vi MH said...

Absolutely brilliant Peter. I was the one who sent this to you on your page and am absolutely over the moon that you were able to find the time to do this work so quickly. I can assure you it is very much appreciated and I have shared it on my group along with all your other outstanding work on the McCanns.
Many of us know already a lot of what you find in your analyses but it is so good to have these things confirmed by such an expert as yourself.
Thank you again Peter

Unknown said...

absolutely rivetting to read! such a clever man..just wish the authorities would see this!!

Habundia said...

Don't wanna be rude, but Gerry started his statement by saying "No, no never! Then he said the rest of the text you used.......not that these words would change anything of the outcome of the analyse, it only confirms your great analyse! Thanks again for the great lesson!

Unknown said... Peter i love your work.and to have an expert explain things lets most people in the uk know we are on the right track

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Habundia said...
Don't wanna be rude, but Gerry started his statement by saying "No, no never! Then he said the rest of the text you used.......not that these words would change anything of the outcome of the analyse, it only confirms your great analyse! Thanks again for the great lesson!
April 26, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Thanks. I was concerned about the accuracy of the transcript.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Peter- Thank you for breaking that down so finitely. You covered so many principles in such a short little span and it made perfect sense the way you broke it down. I need to pay more attention when people talk! Always having to think about what they're going to say and still leaking marbles must be very wearing for the McCanns. I think they expected LE and the public to buy the whole kidnapping scenario and they'd privately grieve Madeleine and just move on with their lives. It hasn't quite worked out the way they expected, I imagine.

P.S. Our local news did an interview with the manager of a new restaurant opening soon. It was interesting to see how he dropped all of his pronouns in discussing how happy he was to be here, but used all the appropriate pronouns in discussing the company team-building efforts. I ended up feeling sorry for the guy, having to leave his old team and long time location.

Habundia said...

I am always amazed to see how much information you can find in just 1 sentence.
I read something about Maddie being dumped into some well.
Do you think that any of their friends who were with them that day they went to the tappas restaurant have covered up some "missing" time?
Are there any statements known of these friends?
Because of his question "when?" I wonder if it is told by any of those friends when she was seen last by them.

It's sad that when someone is able to get rid of a body and hide it that good it isn't found that they can get away with a crime, another failure of the system that gives killers freedom to kill, as long they can hide the body in such a way it is never found. A country with lots of mountains is a "perfect" place to kill, you can get rid of a body by just throwing it into a ravine (or some well), and the "perfect" murder is completed. So many examples out there of these kind of "perfect" murders and systems that fails upon these victims!

Anonymous said...

Off Topic: More 3's!!!

Hernandez' lover says he hinted at suicide in a note 3 weeks before he died.
His lover also says Hernandez promised him his $50,000 watch! But he is complaining he hasnt received it yet!
His lover's lawyer also says Hernandez became close with his client's family, writing them multiple letters telling them how much he would always care for him, and referring to him by his jail nickname "Pure"?!
And surprise surprise the jail lover is the last person who saw Hernandez alive.

Anonymous said...

I just read Jail guards wouldnt let Hernandez & his lover room together bc they like cell mates to be of a similar size in case of a confrontation! So, are we to assume Hernandez' roomate(s) were as large as him, and still no mention of them!
Lovers lawyer saying one of the notes was written in "prison code" so it will sound like gibberish to anyone in public who reads it!

I believe Hernandez was killed for the watch. The guards made sure Hernandez stayed rooming with a guy(s) big enough to kill him, refusing to put him with his "dear friend" who is smaller. Even if watch money was split up between 5 people that is still $10,000 a person--not too shabby!
Those guards are so caring!

Anonymous said...

OFF TOPIC - I know fake hate usually comes from the left, but has anyone analyzed the threatening letter that is behind the Portland Roses parade? Any chance it was written by the Republican group or at least someone sympathetic to them and not an "anti-fascist" group?

Anonymous said...

Police believe it was antifa

Statement Analysis Blog said...

“We will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push those people out as we will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward lgbt, immigrants, people of color or others. In case the message was not clear to you this is a sanctuary city and state and we will not allow these people to spread their views in East Portland. You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely.”

We look for commitment and linguistic disposition.

Anonymous, Why do you think this may be Republicans canceling their own parade?


a.n.o.n. said...

Aaron Hernandez did not have a roommate. He was in a single-bed cell, by himself.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!!!!! Dont colledge teachers and studints supposed to be smart? But them Berkeleys dont seem smart to me. Uh, no!! No smartie would want Annie Coller mad at them. Not me!! You just cant run from her. Its impossible. She is eight and half foot tall. When you, or me, take ten steps, she takes only one. And she be right on ur tail!! Dum dums @ Berkeley.

Anonymous said...

anon, then why have they said he had two roommates? Why would he have been placed in a single cell? Why did they say they didn't let him room with his "friend" because they like to place convicts with people their own size?

Tonnie Moon said...

Hernandez was alone, in a cell designed for one. The floor was soaped lest he somehow touched down, and the verse John 3:16 was written, by him, on his forehead.

Since he was acquitted for the double murder, and the first murder (he was doing life for committing) was being appealed by Jose Baez.
What that means is the Patriots could be on the hook for the remaining $15m owed to him, since he legally died an innocent man. He could well have taken his life to provide for them.

Even if the appeal had been successful, he wouldn't have the means to care for them as he once could have. And even with Baez's help, only a miracle could've challenged that appeal successfully.

Baez no doubt answered his questions regarding the remainder of his Patriots money in the event of his death. I believe he decided some time ago that, if acquitted for the double murder, he'd take his own life in order to give his daughter a good one.

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

16-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead in Joliet Township.

A 16-month-old girl reported missing Tuesday from her home in a Chicago suburb was found dead in the house -- reportedly inside a couch.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office and FBI executed a search warrant late Wednesday at the home in Joliet Township and found Semaj Crosby dead.

The house was in deplorable condition and as many as 15 people were living there at any given time, Deputy Chief Richard Ackerson with the Will County Sheriff’s Office said. He added that a family attorney referred to them as “squatters.”

Investigators removed the couch Thursday, WBBM reported.

The girl was last seen Tuesday evening outside her home. Earlier that day, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services officials had been at the house investigating an allegation of neglect against the victim’s mother, according to statement from the agency.

The agency officials said they saw all three of the mother’s children, including Semaj, and observed no obvious hazards or safety concerns.

Semaj's body was found after the mother’s lawyer gave the sheriff's office consent for the house to be searched Wednesday night, Ackerson said.

He called Semaj’s death suspicious, but not necessarily a homicide. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

The Department of Child Services had been working with the family since September 2016, with four unfounded investigations for neglect, and two other pending investigations for neglect opened in March 2017, agency officials said.

John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update:

Family of Man Killed by FBI After Allegedly Kidnapping Hannah Anderson Will File Amended Wrongful Death Claim

The suit claims FBI agents used excessive and unjustified force in killing DiMaggio in Idaho after a 6-day manhunt.

The attorney for the family of James DiMaggio, the man killed by FBI sharpshooters after allegedly kidnapping teenager Hannah Anderson in 2013, will file an amended wrongful death claim in the case.
Attorney Keith Greer will file the amended $20 million claim in Federal Court in Idaho on Friday. The suit claims FBI agents used excessive and unjustified force in killing DiMaggio in Idaho after a 6-day manhunt.

“We have serious concern that they were waiting for an opportunity to kill him and not waiting for an opportunity to apprehend him,” said Greer.
DiMaggio’s sister has much stronger words.

“I believe that a kill squad went in and hunted my brother down like an animal and shot and killed him. I believe my brother was murdered,” said Lora DiMaggio Robinson.
DiMaggio was shot and killed by FBI sharpshooters on August 10, 2013. Investigators claim he fled to Idaho after allegedly kidnapping the then-16-year-old Anderson. Days earlier, the bodies of her mother and brother were found in DiMaggio’s burned down home in Boulevard, Calif., east of San Diego.

Federal and state prosecutors say agents acted reasonably when they shot and killed DiMaggio.
But attorney Greer says FBI drone surveillance video shows agents had ample time to apprehend DiMaggio.

“If we allow the enforcers, in this case, the hostage rescue team, to be the executioner and the judge and jury, the system falls apart. We can’t have the police coming in and shooting people because they think they’re bad people,” said Greer.
“We want the same thing I’ve wanted from the beginning. I want answers. I want the truth. I want to know what happened to my best friend,” said DiMaggio

Tania Cadogan said...

A former BBC reporter, Clarence Mitchell was appointed to assist Kate and Gerry McCann as their media spokesman following the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, in Portugal in 2007. Mitchell now works for a public relations company and continues to assist the McCanns when necessary. Here is his incredible account of the youngster's disappearance, the police operation to find her and the subsequent 10 years of anguish....

Twice in the ten years I have worked with the McCanns, I genuinely thought we were within reach of finding their missing daughter, Madeleine.

The first moment came very early on, just weeks after her disappearance on May 3, 2007. I had been sent by the British government to the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz to assist Kate and Gerry in dealing with the already huge media interest. Shortly after I arrived, I started to get phone calls, always at three o’clock in the morning, always the same ghostly man’s voice, repeatedly naming a farm where she was being hidden.

The British police recorded the calls and it turned out there was indeed a farm, fitting his description exactly, near Seville, over the border in Spain. As it was raided, and turned out to look exactly as he had painted it in those calls, I really felt we were on to something. But she wasn’t there, and those tip-offs – like so many others that we received from hoaxers, ransom seekers, conmen and psychics – were never explained.

The second came at the end of 2007. I was now being employed by Kate and Gerry as their press spokesman, and they were back at home in Leicestershire with their twins, Sean and Amelie. Spanish private investigators working on their behalf had found a blonde-haired girl who spoke English in a village in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. All the information coming back to us suggested heavily that it could be Madeleine, so much so that an aircraft was put on stand-by, with its engines running, waiting to fly to pick her up.

Kate and Gerry sat tight. They had learned by that stage to be sceptical, not to give in to natural hope only for it to be dashed. They preferred to wait until the Moroccan authorities had checked it out. And when they did, it became clear she was not Madeleine.

On the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, I continue to assist Kate and Gerry as required, keeping a weather eye on reports and sightings, such as the “significant lead” that Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said this week that Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange is following up.

Beyond that, rightly, the Metropolitan Police do not go into operational detail publicly. So, wherever this latest lead may take them, be it Portugal or elsewhere, this time around, like Kate and Gerry, I will sit tight and simply let the authorities do their job before getting my hopes up.

I had spent 20 years as a BBC journalist before becoming a civil servant and helping the McCanns. I met Gerry first. It was some two weeks after Madeleine had gone missing, and he had flown back to England to collect some of her belongings and see members of their large, close extended family.

Tania Cadogan said...


Obviously, he was distressed, but also very rational. As I have subsequently learnt by spending time with the couple at close quarters, Gerry deals with trauma by compartmentalising it and being in control. His emotions, then as now, are poured into what he can do practically to raise awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance.

In Portugal, I found Kate very friendly, grateful for the support I could offer, but already wary of the media attention. Even though she realised that it was invaluable in keeping awareness high, she – more so that Gerry – found it very intrusive.

That was before it turned into something altogether more cruel, with the McCanns becoming widely vilified for making a mistake in the way in which they chose to care for their children on that fateful night in Praia da Luz. They had left them in an unlocked holiday apartment, though still checking on them regularly, because there was no baby-listening service at their complex.

They were always the first to admit their mistake, but what a price they are still paying. God forbid it is a price they may have to pay for the rest of their lives. I was with them, in private, away from the cameras on many occasions, when they were in absolute grief and misery.

For all the doubters, they have never done or said anything at any time that has given me any cause for suspicion that they were anything other than the innocent victims of a dreadful crime. Before that first meeting with Gerry, I was briefed by British police working alongside the Portuguese on the case. They told me then, categorically, that they had “cleared the ground beneath their feet”.

In other words, the British authorities believed that Gerry and Kate were categorically not guilty of any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Yet the Portuguese police turned against them, naming them as arguido, a technical term conferring certain legal rights that is clumsily and misleadingly translated into English as “suspect”. You can become an arguido over the most minor traffic offence.

By that time, though, I had been called back by the government to London, but Kate and Gerry were ringing me at four in the morning saying: “We’ve been out here in Portugal too long, we’ve been stitched up, we’re about to be arrested, it’s all dreadful.”

Other than being sympathetic, I couldn’t do anything to help them. So when the offer came to work for them full-time, I took it in an instant.

What stands out, looking back over ten years, is the sheer lunacy of the accusations made against them.

There was, for instance, the theory entertained by the Portuguese police that their daughter had somehow been killed accidentally and that they then had used their hire car to remove her body and bury it in a secret location. I was there when the keys to that car were handed over to them, at their apartment; they hired it several weeks after Madeleine had disappeared.

Tania Cadogan said...


Even if they had already got their daughter’s body out of the holiday apartment and stored it somewhere (a fridge was suggested, ridiculously), the police theory would mean that, in the full view of the world’s media, who were camped on their doorstep around the clock, the McCanns would have had to put her into the boot and then shaken off the ever-present paparazzi to dispose of her. It was as implausible as it was utterly offensive.

Later, in the autumn of 2007, when we were all back in England, a team of Portuguese police officers came to interview me about the times I had ridden in that car with Kate and Gerry. Did I notice any unusual smells in the hire car, they asked? It was beyond laughable. It also revealed, I felt, frightening ineptitude.

By then, a whole, vile cottage industry had grown around the case, with retired police officers who had nothing to do with the investigation appearing on Portuguese TV to suggest, for example, the McCanns had been at a swingers’ party on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance. It all compounded their pain.

Kate, in particular, got deeply angry. There was no shouting, sobbing or throwing things. It was more of a simmering but intense rage that things could be so misrepresented and so blatantly unfair.

Their real fury, though, was that such lazy reporting of wild untruths would actually mislead people and so hinder the search for Madeleine. That was why they took legal action against Gonçalo Amaral, the Portuguese police officer who wrote a very unpleasant book about them after being removed from the investigation. If people in Portugal, or elsewhere, believe the claims of an officer who never interviewed them, then Kate and Gerry feared that the public would simply assume Madeleine was dead and forget her.

The pressure would have broken other couples. Occasionally, I would catch them in tears, or hugging each other. But they seem to have coped. If anything, it has brought them together even more, rather than split them apart.

The McCanns are private people. I have never been privy to their innermost thoughts. It is not that sort of relationship. We haven’t even discussed politics. I am hoping to stand as a Conservative candidate in the forthcoming election, and my flag is blue; theirs, I’ve always believed, is red. It certainly didn’t affect our friendship.

They have thrown themselves into looking after the twins, trying as best to create a home where reminders of Madeleine are all around them, where she is still very much part of the family, and where they can shield Sean and Amelie against this constant gaze that the family is still under.

We have a good understanding with the British media that, until they are 18, the twins should never be photographed, but we can’t always enforce it. A local paper here or a foreign agency photographer there has occasionally managed to include them “by accident” in a photograph at a school sports day or other public event.

Despite the support they have received, there are still bills to pay. Before Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate was a locum GP, but she has never returned to work. Gerry continues as a senior cardiologist. (It is a tiny point, but symbolic of how almost every fact is twisted in this story. Gerry is not a surgeon, as often inaccurately reported. He is the man who keeps you alive and your essential tubes open when you are having your heart operation under the surgeon’s knife.)

Kate and Gerry hate being recognised. When I was with them, we would sometimes walk into a restaurant and the whole place would go quiet as they entered. People are mostly sympathetic. Many just don’t know what to say to them.

Tania Cadogan said...


Nobody in my experience has ever been bold enough to accuse them of anything unpleasant to their faces. All of the worst, ugly nonsense is online – that Gerry is not Madeleine’s real dad, that paedophilia is somehow involved, that there’s a huge global government conspiracy to cover something up.

One of the most ridiculous and offensive theories I have come across online – and there are many – is that Madeleine had somehow been hidden at the church in Praia da Luz inside a coffin, beneath a body awaiting burial.

I continue to believe Madeleine was abducted for some reason. Kate is sure that, just short of her fourth birthday, Madeleine would not have been capable of wandering out of the apartment, closing the curtains, sliding doors and two small gates behind her.

And so the couple keep her bedroom in Leicestershire ready for her return, with the presents there for all the birthdays and Christmases with them that she has missed. It is very much a family-only place. In all my time in their house, that door has remained shut.

They hope and pray that, wherever she is, Madeleine is being looked after. What sustains them is that there is absolutely no evidence of physical harm coming to her. So they will always believe firmly that it is as logical to think she might be alive as it is illogical to assume the worst.

Unknown said...

Very interesting. GM treats these questions as a hypothesis that he must deconstruct using logic. He denies the hypothesis only because it does not have a logical motive. However, the suggestion is not murder but neglect and death by accident which does not have a logic. His repot ion of ' there is nothing to suggest' shows that he is interested only in disproving the hypothesis rather than answering a direct question with a direct answer. I don't think he did kill MM so he could answer just no but I do think he knows that she died.

Hey Jude said...

Thanks for posting Clarence Mitchell's account, Tania.

Some questions and observations:

Is there anything to note in His choice of 'somehow been killed accidentally' ? I ask because Amaral Gonçalo has said many times that he and his colleagues believed that Madeleine 'died' in the apartment as the result of an accident. Can 'been killed' and 'died' be interchangeable there by Clarence?

'Killed' could suggest he had a thought of agency, even though that is not what the police had said. He could also also mean the police claimed she had 'been killed' through an accident, rather than by a person - but that is not what they said either, rather that she died. I find it interesting he used 'killed' when he must have heard and read many times Amaral Gonçalo and his colleagues believed Madeleine had died in the apartment, as the result of an accident. I don't think they have said she had been killed. Does it make a difference how he chose to phrase what the accusation was?

'I was there when the keys to that car were handed over to them, at their apartment; they hired it several weeks after Madeleine had disappeared.'

Well, so what about that? It neither proves nor disproves anything about whether Madeleine's body was ever in the hire car. It's as if he is trying to add his weight to the story, without actually doing so.

Even if they had already got their daughter’s body out of the holiday apartment...
He is willing to entertain the idea. Should he do that if he steadfastly believed Madeleine had been abducted, and that the parents were innocent?

Did I notice any unusual smells in the hire car, they asked? It was beyond laughable. It also revealed, I felt, frightening ineptitude.'

CM does not say that he didn't notice any unusual smells in the hire car - he doesn't answer the question, despite he chose to include it.

Could he be implying, without intending to, it was beyond laughable that the police had not noticed unusual smells in the hire car, themselves?

(Any smell would likely have worn off by the time the police took the car, which a neighbour reported had been cleaned and left with doors and boot open day and night, for days, at their rented villa).

He does not say he did not notice any unusual smells - even though he chose to include the question. Why did he not say he'd reassured the police that the car smelled normal - if only to further reassure 'the doubters'. ('Doubters' sounds almost reconciliatory, at least in comparison to Kate and Gerry's 'trolls, freaks, haters' etc.)

Could his reply mean he did notice a smell, and was given the 'rotting meat and soiled diapers' spiel by Kate and Gerry? I found the story about the smell to have been the beyond laughable part, though none of it is funny - that they expected everyone to believe they went round in the heat, for days, with rotting meat and diapers in the hire car.

Habundia said...

"They hope and pray that, wherever she is, Madeleine is being looked after. What sustains them is that there is absolutely no evidence of physical harm coming to her. So they will always believe firmly that it is as logical to think she might be alive as it is illogical to assume the worst."

If that's true.........why are their words saying something different when they have interviews?
They never say they hope and pray that Madeleine is looked after and taken care for. They don't worry about what Madeleine has been going through the last 10 years if indeed she would be in the hands of "an abductor". We all have heard stories of those children who were abducted for a decade and what they went through. There is not one abducted person in this world who experienced good times while being abducted, so why do these people not worry at all for her well-being if they really think she has been abducted? If they cannot really believe she's abducted, we can't believe it either.

"They're not really at the age where they are on the internet and other sites, but they're coming to that stage. They're in closed groups with their friends etc and that's important."

So besides internet there are "other sites"?
The only other "sites" I am aware of are those on the dark and the deep Web.......which aren't reachable through normal internet and I don't think most teenagers will know how to use it
Or is it just the language of people who don't have a clue of how internet works? (Not that iam an expert) but what sites are they refering to other then those on "internet"?

Anonymous said...

I'm rather surprised you never picked up on the comment made from one of their friends as they were at the airport leaving to go on holiday. (Part 1 about 38 mins) He clearly says "Cheer up Gerry, we're on holiday" Something must have been concerning Gerry