Monday, July 17, 2017

Mystery Monday: Madeleine McCann

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



There aren't many mysteries that make it across the vast ocean to the U.S. After all, America has enough horrible stories of our own. But the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann broke hearts across the world.



Madeleine Beth McCann was born in 2003 in Leicester, England. She had younger siblings who were twins. In May of 2007, Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, took the three children to a Portugal resort called Praia da Luz. They were joined by seven friends and their five children. 



The seven adults have been nicknamed the "Tapas Seven" because each evening at around 8:30 p.m., the group would meet up with the McCanns in a tapas restaurant at the resort after putting their children to bed. The rooms were across the pool from the restaurant, as evidenced in the below diagram from the U.K.'s Daily Mail. See the caption for a description of each numbered location.


1) Tapas restaurant 2) front of McCann apartment 3) Rear of McCann apartment 4) stairs to the rear patio doors
On the evening of May 3, the McCanns left the apartment for the tapas restaurant around 8:30 p.m. They left the patio doors unlocked. The group of adults say they always took turns checking on the children throughout the night.



Gerry made the first check on the children at a little after 9 p.m. All was fine. He did mention the bedrooom door being wide open when he was sure he'd previously left it only slightly ajar, but it wasn't enough to alarm him. He says he pulled it back to the slightly ajar position. Around 9:30, friend Matthew Oldfield checked in on them while he was checking his own children. He claims the door was once again wide open. Neither of the two men looked into the bedroom to see the children.


Madeline's bed (left), the twins' cribs, and an empty bed.

At 10 p.m., it was Kate's turn. She walked back to the apartment to check on the children. Madeleine's bed was empty.




Kate rushed back to the restaurant, where she yelled, "Madeleine's gone! Someone's taken her!" A few minutes later, Matthew Oldfield went to the resort's reception desk to have them call the police. Unfortunately, the crime scene was not preserved as the police did not take the situation seriously. They believed Madeleine had simply wandered off.



As of this date, Madeleine's disappearance is still a mystery. Police reportedly believe the McCanns, who are both physicians, medicated Madeleine in order to keep her asleep while they dined with friends, accidentally giving her too much. The cover up then began, the theory goes.


Madeleine's parents

Part of this theory comes from the fact that police dogs smelled traces of a decomposing body inside the apartment. Traces of DNA matching Madeleine were also found in the couple's rental car. Of course, experts debunk this, saying that her DNA would have matched the rest of the family and since they'd all been using the rental car, the finding made sense.



Of course, the McCanns uphold that a stranger abducted Madeleine. Suspects include a pedophile who lived an hour away and a convicted burglar and drug addict who had been fired from the tapas bar in 2006. He was reportedly in the area that evening. But experts say that the 30-minute checks on the children would likely have deterred anyone thinking of breaking into the apartment.



What do you think happened to Madeleine McCann?

32 comments:

  1. Why would you leave the door unlocked and ajar? Plus leaving the kids by themselves like that. I'm not a parent, but that sounds like bad parenting to me.

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    1. The back door was unlocked but not ajar. I want to say it was sliding glass? But it was left unlocked so they didn't have to take a key with them. (I know, stupid!!!) The back door faced the road, too... As in, "the road" that wasn't part of the resort and had traffic flowing constantly. You can see the road and all the cars on the picture. The door that was ajar was the kids' bedroom door. I'm assuming it was maybe requested by the kids? I know kids sometimes ask not to shut the door all the way. There's also a battle about whether the window in the room was open or not. The mom says it was, but some police say it wasn't. It's such a complex case.

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  2. I was living in the UK when she disappeared and remember this story quite well. So tragic and so unsettling.

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    1. Adorable little girl. Whatever happened, it's a tragedy for the family and just heartbreaking.

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  3. I agree with Alex on this. No way would I leave little kids alone like that. And the patio door was unlocked? Just asking for a tragedy.

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    1. I don't understand why they would do that. Leaving children so young unaccompanied is bad enough...and the thing was, there was a club for kids where they spent part of the day. They could have gone there (from what I understand) and been safely watched. But the parents wanted the kids to sleep while they played.

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  4. It is a tragic one, and only time will tell really about what really happened. Very strange indeed.

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    1. I have a feeling this may be one of the mysteries we never resolve. Maybe not... It's also very possible the police know who did it but don't have enough evidence. At least in America, they often won't reveal all the facts in a situation like that.

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  5. Hi Stephanie - having vaguely watched this unfold here in the Uk - it seems a complete mystery ... just desperately sad. I haven't an inkling of an idea ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Mysteries like that become a global obsession. People want to know the answer. Sadly, we may never know.

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  6. Not a good decision to leave the kids alone imo but an incredibly stupid one to leave the door unlocked. How hard is it to bring a key along? I'm sure they hate themselves enough for that by now. Poor Madeleine.

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    1. I don't understand that, either. Even if multiple couples were checking on each other's children, they could always take a key. And that was the door that faced THE STREET. That part wasn't even inside the resort. Crazy!

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  7. Another new one to me. I agree about leaving the door ajar in a situation such as this one.

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    1. I know some kids like to have the door open to let a little light in. It could have been that... But that was the bedroom door. The outside door was closed, just unlocked.

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  8. I remember this case from when it happened -- tragic.

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    1. It still haunts us to this day, sadly.

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  9. I wish I knew more on the case but what I have seen, I think the parents were negligent and very, very stupid as well as the friends not actually looking in on the kids but I don't believe the parents did anything to their daughter. They are guilty of mass stupidity. The little girl is the right age and the right look for pedophiles and since it is a family resort, anyone could wander through and take a look. Someone may have been watching them and seeing how the parents wanted to have fun on their own rather than be with their kids. They watched and saw the pattern and so snatched the girl quickly and could leave right onto the street. I hope that, one day, they will find the body but the police are also to blame here for not taking this seriously

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    1. I do think the parents were negligent...and most people will agree on that point. However, whether or not they were involved in her death is the biggest question. If it was a pedophile/stranger, then chances are, the person will never be found. The police have been too focused on the parents and too much time has passed. Stranger crimes are some of the hardest to solve anyway because it could be anyone...unless they can match DNA somehow.

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  10. Why would she have automatically assume someone had taken her? That was suspect right there. The girl was old enough to wander off if she woke up and found she was alone. That would have been the first thought--not someone has taken her. There was no puzzlement or confusion of where the little girl was...and that is highly suspicious. I would guess they were involved somehow.

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    1. Her parents have been #1 suspects for a while. But it is possible her mom realized how dumb it was to leave their kids in an unlocked apartment for so long and assumed that someone took her. Because that's what can happen when you leave your children unattended. But yeah, there are other things that make the parents look guilty--including the fact that the adults all got together and wrote out a timeline before the police arrived. Suspicious, for sure!

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  11. I would never have left the children alone. Either they come with me or I leave them in the hands of a family member or sitter to watch them. I even take my boys with me either to the family bathroom or women's bathroom. There are some sick, sick people out there. It's a world where everyone is a target for violence or depravity, men, women and children too.

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    1. After listening to all these true crime cases, I'm glad I'm not a mom. I don't think I could deal with the stress. There are a lot of evil people out there.

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  12. I remember this case--very fishy, and very stupid of the parents to leave their children alone.

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    1. Definitely. Hopefully others can learn from this--but I would think most adults know not to do something like that! When I originally heard about the case, I assumed the apartment was in full view of the restaurant, which I assumed was very close by, but that wasn't the case.

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  13. I think the parents made a lot of mistakes, but it doesn't mean they are murderers. This is another story that might not ever be solved.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. That's what a lot of people argue. Just because they're guilty of negligence, that doesn't necessarily make them guilty of murder. Unfortunately, stranger murders/abductions are far less common than those that are committed by people who know a child, so police tend to go with the family/close relatives first.

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  14. I remember that. I think because of so many other cases, the public does jump to blame the parents. She's such a beautiful little girl. Wouldn't the entire group have had to in on it?

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  15. So tragic! I've never known what to believe in this case. I believe that the parents were negligent....but beyond that I really don't know.

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  16. Sad case. I'd say the parents are responsible (or involved) in one way or another.

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  17. I think it's strange the parents left the children unattended like that. Anyone could have studied the patterns of their whereabouts and taken her. It's very sad :(

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  18. We'll probably never find out what happened. Like so many had said before me, it's tragic.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  19. Such a sad, sad story. I don't understand leaving the door ajar either. Any one could have gone in. Parents sometimes do dumb things. But why leave the children alone, even though they were checking on them. It takes only minutes for bad guys to do their job. I hope the case is solved some day and the guilty party, parties are punished.

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