As the Madeleine McCann case winds down, there is fairly good speculation that Scotland Yard's final determination will be that Madeleine McCann died as a result of a botched burglary. And there has been much disbelief that this kind of crime could have anything to do with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; after all, what do burglars want with a three -year-old child? Why would they kidnap her instead of just running off since no three-year-old is going to be very good at identifying the burglars? How can this be a burglary if nothing of value (minus the child) was taken? Why was there no evidence of a break-in? Why did the cadaver dogs hit inside the flat if burglars removed Maddie from the apartment while in the act of burglarizing the vacation rental?
Oh, Heaven's to Betsy! Stop being so logical! Devising a theory for closing a case has little to do with needing to prove it is true with evidence. Like a defense attorney attempting to convince a jury that the evidence the prosecution has presented may not truly explain what happened, closing a case without evidence only requires a good story and a bunch of possible - if rare - scenarios that cause the people to think "Yeah, I guess that could be true." For once you fool people into reasonable doubt, you open the door to just about any cockamamie scenario you can dream up.
So, here is how I would close the Madeleine McCann case with a bunch of inept burglars and why I would choose this scenario.
First, I want to show that I looked into everything (well, everything to do with abduction). I would question any shady character lurking in the vicinity and look into every rumor that had to do with bad people in the area. Along the way, I would hope to find a character or characters that I could connect well enough to the date, time, and place that they, theoretically, could have committed the crime. After running through many a possibility, the best I could come up with was the botched burglary because these were the only bad guys I could place in the area at the time required. All right. Now, I need to build the scenario around these guys.
Here is what happened:
Three burglars, familiar with the area and the resort, were breaking into flats in the area and stealing a variety of items. These burglars weren't particularly skilled nor did they target especially high priced items; they just grabbed stuff that lay within the flat, hoping to make enough on their booty to split three ways and enjoy their gains. On the evening of May 3, 2007, the three burglars planned to gain access to a number of properties and worked together through cell phones, planning their positions and times to enter the residences. As they had noted a number of visitors to the resort tended to leave their patio doors open, they found it easy to access some flats quickly without having to resort to actually breaking in and drawing attention. They also donned latex medical gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints in the flats. They used this method to slip into the McCann flat but, this time, they were startled quickly by a child who wandered into the living room. She was frightened by their presence and started crying loudly. The burglars were concerned that the loud wailing would draw instant attention and they grabbed the child and covered her mouth in order to stop the noise. As has happened in other situations (sometimes by a kidnapper or a babysitter), the adult does not realize that with a child, a large hand covering the child's mouth also results in covering the child's nose and the child can quickly become asphyxiated.
After this occurred with Madeleine McCann, the lookout phoned one of the burglars to warn him that someone was approaching the flat and in desperation they pulled the sofa away from the wall and hid the child's body behind it and then hid themselves. An adult entered the flat, listened for any noise from the children's room, and then left again. At this point, the panicked burglars became afraid that in the handling of the child's body, they may have left DNA on it and so they decided to remove the child's body from the flat. With one standing lookout, the other burglar carried the child off towards the beach to where one of the burglars lived. They hatched a plan to dispose of the child's body, most likely in the ocean since her body wasn't found in any of the digs conducted in Praia da Luz.
Due to the failure of the Portuguese police to follow this line of inquiry early on, there is not enough physical evidence to take these suspects to court. However, one hopes that this information will give the McCanns closure, that they know that what happened to their daughter and that she did not suffer any kind of physical or sexual abuse. As to the community, they can rest assured that there is not a child predator in their midst who is targeting young children of Madeleine's age. Although a crime did occur, the death of Madeleine McCann was accidental and not premeditated.
This is a scenario the McCanns can accept (they are not guilty, the Portuguese police are proven to be inept and Gonçalo Amaral completely wrong as are the trolls who support him, Scotland Yard money was well spent and the investigation solid, AND, since this scenario cannot be absolutely proven, there is still the hope Madeleine was taken by a woman who wanted a child and she is alive and well somewhere and they can still continue the fund and the search for her in toned down and less public manner).
So don't think a botched burglary could be accepted by a gullible public? I wouldn't bet on it. Even I find myself thinking that this scenario could be true (at least it seems plausible if I do not go back and review the actual evidence of the case). And that is how it works; make up a good story but ignore the evidence.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
April 29, 2016
By Pat Brown
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.