Let me present firstly what I think should be the reasonable scenario for the McCanns' involvement and the most reasonable without the McCanns' involvement.
With) The children were left alone so that the McCanns could enjoy their evening out. Because of the problem of the children crying for them the previous night and Maddie being so agitated over this, the children were given medication to quiet them. The McCanns put the children to bed, thought they were out for the evening (as in asleep) and went to have a drink on the veranda and then they went out for the next couple of hours. They did not check on the children again until Gerry came back to the flat at 9:15. Either before or after they left the apartment, Maddie came out, climbed on the sofa, and fell behind it. Because there is a question of timing as to how long a body must remain in a place for cadaver smell to develop that is good enough for the dogs, I cannot say when this accident would have exactly occurred. (the timing seems to be narrowing with further scientific experiments in the matter from one and a half hours to far less than that. At around 9:15, Gerry finds Maddie missing from bed, searches for her, and finds her behind the sofa. Then Kate returns and all hell breaks loose. Gerry takes Maddie away, Kate raises the alarm, some amount of staging is done, but very little as everyone is in a panic.
Without) Some local creep has noted that the McCanns have three little kids and that they are leaving them in the flat alone every night. He notes the McCanns going out again that night and waits until he thinks he has an opportunity to slip in through an open door or pull up an unlocked window. He sees Maddie, puts a hand over her mouth and rushes from the flat. He realizes she isn't reacting at all to being abducted (because she has been medicated) and he carries the quiet child off easily. He would have taken Maddie to his home, raped and murdered her and buried her body on the property or out in the brush somewhere. I want to point out, there is no evidence at all to support this scenario, but if Maddie were actually abducted this would have likely been what happened.
Now, time has gone on and so the scenarios get crazier Because the pedophile abduction scenario does indeed seem a bit too lucky, now we have kidnapping masterminds enter the picture; sex rings or baby selling rings, professionals who plotted this whole crime out with incredible brilliance; hence, the reason no evidence was left and they got away with Maddie into the night without being discovered and why they and what happened to Maddie has remained undiscovered for six years.
Likewise for the scenarios in which the McCanns are involved. People can't understand how the cover-up of an accident was accomplished in so short a time and why the Tapas 9 have never broken and why the body has never been found. In other words, it is hard to believe they got away with a cover-up if it was so haphazard to have had to be done in a moment's notice. Therefore, there are theories that Maddie was never in Portugal, that she was given away days earlier, or that she died the previous night or at least that afternoon and that the children were never neglected and the whole dinner was staged and that Gerry was running about with his younger child to make it look like an abductor had taken his child.
I admit two things; it IS amazing that the McCanns could have gotten away with such a mess of a cover-up and it would be an incredibly lucky abductor who managed to get so lucky to have an easy way in, a sedated child, not to have left a bit of evidence, and never been caught.
Yes, both are rather incredible but one of them happened because Maddie is missing. Which brings me to which scenario is supported by evidence. The abduction scenario has zero evidence of having occurred and the neglect/accident/cover-up has much evidence in its corner.
And it is here I would like to shoot down those fantastical scenarios put out about how the McCanns gave away or killed Maddie (even if accidentally) long before the Tapas dinner that evening. There are four good reasons why the simplest scenario is the likely one. Other than Occam's Razor being taken into account, these four bits of evidence support the theory I gave above: the body (assuming you believe the cadaver evidence which I do) behind the sofa, the window showing no signs of tampering, a man being seen carrying off Maddie towards the beach, and the mass confusion that evening. Let's look at them.
1) The body behind the sofa. If the dog evidence is accurate, Maddie fell behind the sofa. No one hides a body behind a sofa, so why is it there? The odd location indicates to me that Maddie fell there, she died there, and she lay there until her body was discovered. This adds up to an accident while no one was around or at least while no one was paying attention.
PS. If you didn't think the dog evidence behind the sofa was strong enough, one could gather that Maddie died in her bed of an overdose or some other accident. What is most interesting is that Gerry does give a statement that he used his key to come in the front door to check. Now, I thoroughly believe this indicates the flat was locked up while they were out which makes sense if you are leaving your place unattended. This locking of the door requires then the next statement, that the window had to have been opened by an abductor).
2) The window not being tampered with. If you have enough time to plan a complicated scenario, you have enough time to put a few tool marks on the window. It takes but a minute or two to stage the window being used to break into the flat. The McCanns appear to have been in a frenzy when they told relatives the flat had been broken into, that the window had been "jimmied;" this is what people say when they are panicked and trying to cover themselves in a hurry.
3) If Gerry was seen carrying a child off towards the beach, I guarantee you that this was not on purpose. Staging an abduction by pretending to BE the abductor is foolhardy. First of all, the face of the man was not covered. He could have been identified. Then, once he got down toward the beach, he has to come back with the child....to what...to be seen again bringing her back? No, if that man was Gerry the Smiths saw, then what we have is a desperate man carrying off his deceased child to dump her body some place. Now, he could have put the body closer to the flat, but it makes sense that he wants the body hidden at least long enough for a predator to have had time to rape and kill his daughter and dump her body. It wouldn't do to have the body found five minutes into searching for her, just behind the flat in the bushes, would it? And, if the death of Madeleine happened a day or so ago, there is far more time to carefully plan the removal of her body in such a way as to not have been seen doing it.
4) The mass confusion that evening. Some folks think that the McCanns staged the neglect so there would be an opportunity for an abductor to take Madeleine. I do not buy this line of thinking at all. This is not the way humans make up lies. They don't make up a lie that makes them look bad unless it is one of lesser bad behavior that people already know about. This is then is an attempt to appear contrite and honest. Like the guy who gets caught drunk driving and admits to having a couple. He KNOWS the officer can tell he has been drinking so he admits to doing so but the lesser of the evils..just a couple rather than the twelve drinks he actually had.
A husband gets caught in an affair might confess to oral sex but not intercourse because he thinks his wife might buy that and it is the lesser of the two that she might be able to forgive him for. BUT, a guy doesn't get caught kissing a woman and then tell his wife, "Hey, that's not ALL we've done!"
Likewise with the McCanns. If something happened to Maddie and they had to get rid of her body, they don't then set up a scenario making themselves neglectful parents because no one has accused them of committing any kind of criminal behavior at that point. And there are so much simpler ways to stage the crime and still look like a decent parent which keeps you from getting investigated.
How about getting rid of her body, doing some damage to the window, and pulling it open (with gloves on) or. hey, just having it be open for a nice breeze, and then just say "We decided to stay in that evening and we were on the veranda having drinks while the kids slept. We told Maddie we would be right on the other side of the sliding door and we left the sliding door open an inch so we could hear if anything had gone wrong inside. We must have just sat out there for an hour or so and when we came back in and opened the door to the children's bedroom, we found Maddie gone! We never considered that someone would open the window and slip in while we were just outside (or just slip through the window if left open for that healthful breeze)."
A simple alternative to this is to have Madeleine disappear while all are sleeping. That someone came in through the window and took her in the night. It happened to Elizabeth Smart, so it could happen to Maddie.
I think that is a plausible story and considering the parents are well-off doctors, I don't know whether I would have questioned the story as long as nothing else stood out.
But, admitting to leaving the children unattended for five nights in a row? That is a bloody stupid story to make up if it isn't true. The problem the McCanns were dealing with was they couldn't make themselves look like better parents because they weren't. But they could try to play down neglect which is a whole lot better than admitting to medicating your kid and having her die behind the sofa while you were off drinking.
The simplest thing is indeed likely to be what happened. Selfish parents neglected their children thinking nothing would really happen. They medicated their kids because they saw no harm in giving them a little something to quiet them. The unthinkable then happened and in a panic they staged a simple crime: they removed the evidence of their child's death from the apartment and they claimed the window had been jimmied so an abduction scenario could be believed. Then they added a man seen by a friend carrying off the child and they hoped they would get away with it. And things were going quite well until they became arguidos. After that occurred, they made another desperate decision; to bolt Portugal and hope they would never be extradited back should the case remain open. All in all, I believe Amaral was on the right track even if there was a question over certain physical evidence. The lie about the window told by the McCanns and the refusal to acknowledge the Smith sighting along with the likely locked flat and the inconsistent and concerning statements and behaviors, all of these things made the McCanns arguidos and is why they should still be arguidos six years later.
Sometimes people DO get away with crime. The proof of this is the many unsolved, cold cases in every country in the world. Criminals are not often brilliant, so it is not a complicated scenario that kept them from getting arrested and convicted. It is simply the nature of crime that it is usually occurs without witnesses and often the physical evidence isn't strong enough to convince a jury. I know of a lot of criminals who are living contented lives today having gotten away with horrible crimes. If the McCanns are guilty and never convicted in a court of law it isn't necessarily because they are innocent nor is it because they planned a brilliant oover-up, it is because they got lucky, they got rich (off the fund which enable them to Carter-Ruck any troublemakers and hire PIs to do whatever they really did), and they got help from people in high places.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
November 7, 2013
Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann available at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.
By Pat Brown
(5 reviews) based on
(5 reviews) based on
Published: July 27, 2011
What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007? Was she abducted as the Gerry and Kate have claimed or did something happen to Madeleine on May 3 in the vacation apartment and the incident covered up? Criminal Profiler Pat Brown analyzes the evidence and takes the readers through the steps of profiling, developing a theory that is intriguing and controversial.