Back in may when little Madeline went missing my heart went out to her parents. Like any other right minded person. However, it nagged at me that they had left her alone in the first place but still I thought "well hard lesson learned there". That though was 3 months ago. In that time my opinion has changed somewhat. I'm still perlexed by the fact they left 3 small children alone and for several weeks now I have thought there was a damn sight more to this than meets the eye. Now we find the McCann family firmly in the spotlight as possible suspects. Could it be a case of no smoke without fire? My attitude changed within weeks of her disappearance. Let me explain why...
1)It's never acceptable to leave small children alone. Bad judgement? Yes. Bad parenting? Yes. Does it make them responsible? Yes. If they were working class parents from an inner city they'd have been slaughtered for it. Yet they have never, bar once, mentioned leaving her alone. They have never said it was silly or stupid or it was there own fault...surely any parent would?
2)If you were going to "steal" a child why would you go for the one who can talk and cause problems for you? The one in the middle of the bed? Why not take one of the younger ones? Think about it...you know this will be all over the news as soon as you've taken her. Why risk, if this is a straight abduction and she is alive, taking the one child most likely to say "where's my mummy?" in a public place.
3) It has become apparent the Maddie must be dead. The sheer volume of press would surely make it impossible for her to be alive. How did she get out Portugal? Let's face is she's highly unlikely to stil be there is she is alive. A small, blonde, english speaking child will stick out like a sore thumb over there now. So why are Kate and Gerry not willing to concede this? As before you could never risk taking Maddie out in public. She can speak for god's sake. It's too big a risk to take.
4) 3 year olds are not as daft as we think. We've seen it in the press often enough about wee scones who dial 999 to save Mummy or who have the ability to know their address. From the age of 2 a child has the mental ability to differ right from wrong. In this day and age it's few children who have not been told by their parents even at that young age about the dangers of strangers. In addition at that age children link to Mummy and Daddy in a big way. They do not have the ability to be concise in words but they certainly do possess the ability to cry, scream and stamp their feet when they are upset or want their Mothers. They do this even with people they knwo well when they want their parents. Maddie would surely have done this is she was alive. She would have, at some point, kicked off in a temper. Yet no-one anywhere in the world has seen it.
5) The timescale doesn't fit. The McCann's timing of their arrival is out of synch with another who attended the meal.
6)No-one knows when Maddie was last seen alive.
7) Kate and Gerry may well have the middle class stiff upper lip going on. Fair enough some people can control their emotions. I am one of them. I didn't shed a tear in public when my Father died. Alone though in private I was a wreck but I know this...controlled or not...if someone had one of my children I'd be freaking out. I'd be angry, I'd be emotional, I'd be scared, I'd be fearing the worst, I'd be out there looking, I'd be making threats of violence. In short my parental instinct would kick in. I've seen no evidence of any of this from either Gerry or Kate. Surely there is only so far a stiff upper lip can go? So we hear they cry at night...but where is the anger? Where is the emotion? Emotion is not just about crying. Even their pleas seem to lack emotion.
8) Sadly I know people who have lost a child. These people could barely function for weeks. Yes, tragically, they had clarity in that their child was dead but it doesn't detract from the fact that their was a gap in their lives which they could not accept. They dragged themselves through making plans, through visits from relatives and the grief of others and ultimately the funeral. Do not tell me it has not crossed Kate and Gerry's minds that there daughter is dead? Yet they seem to be carrying on with life. Facing the world with freshly washed hair and make up. Jogging round Portugal and jetting round the world (leaving their twins behind) to meet the pope, release records, distribute posters. I suspect the majority of us in the same position would be at best dishevelled, not quite as controlled and less inclined to leave our other children for a second. Their behaviour just seems to go against parental instinct. That thing inside you when you are a parent that just comes forward from the minute that child is put in your arms. That involuntary notion to protect, to love and cherish this little being. And most of all that emotion, panic and anger that comes from not having them there to protect, love and cherish. Or the guilt at not having done the job properly. Where is the guilt? I carry a guilt in me everyday that I did not manage to be there to save my Father. I'm not even his parent. I still wonder if I could have done soemthing even though I know I couldn't have. Where is the guilt? Where is the emotion that goes with it? Where is the "we're so sorry Maddie?"
9) The DNA? Well it an be explained away in a number of ways but let's think back...No confirmed sightings of the child. No witnesses saw or heard anything unusual. No-one able to confirm when Maddie was last seen. No-one went into the room to check them. The unlocked room. I know if I was checking my child I'd look in. Likewise if I was checking somene elses child. Otherwise why leave the door unlocked? Blood found in the room. Tiny specks. From where? How did they get there? Did Maddie fall? Had she cut herself earlier in the holiday?
10) Friends at the meal used the creche facility that night. Provided by the complex. There was also a babysitting service. Now even if you had to pay for it this is a couple who earn 6 figures a year or more. There is no excuse for not using it. Why didn't they? A witness has confirmed this was not the first night the children were left alone. Another has confirmed she heard Maddie crying and shouting out for her Daddy a few nights earlier while the McCanns were out. Yet on the night she apparently vanishes into thin air no-one hears anything? Are we supposed to believe that someone lifted a 3 year old child from a sleep, walked out a complex and took her with no-one seeing or hearing anything? That Maddie didn't wake and cry out or shout or struggle? Cause if she did then surely someone would have heard or saw something? And all this in the space of 10 minutes? Because apparently the McCanns and their friends checked every 10 minutes. Of course when Gerry went he was apparently gone 10 minutes and admitted to spending 6 of them chatting to someone. So 4 minutes from restaurant to apartment to check the children before chatting to this friend?
11)The McCann's firmly believe Maddie is still alive. So put yourself in that position. You're peaking to the press day in, day out for weeks in a bid to keep it in the spotlight, to keep yoru daughter in everyone's minds. You appeal to whoever has her to bring her back. Fair enough. However, given the massive press coverage and the fact your child is in every newspaper, on posters everywhere and on every tv set in the world is it not likey Maddie will see herself somewhere and ask questions if she is alive? Or say "Oh look there's me!" as 3 year olds do. Again it comfirms that anyone taking her with a view to keeping her alive would not be able to take her out, put her to school, to a doctor, to a restaurant. No-one is going to take that risk. She is no use to anyone who wanted to keep her alive. But...as her parent you are absolutely sure she is alive somewhere...does instinct not tell you to appeal to your daughter? To tell her you love her and want her home. That you didn't give her away, that you miss her and that you are doing all you can to get her back. Why have the McCanns not said any of this? Forget the advice they might be getting. Gut instinct and emotion sometimes overrules everything else. Not once have they appealed to their child directly.
There is a theory doing the rounds...
That the McCanns may have sedated the children to help keep them asleep while they were out. They return to find Maddie dead. They desperately ty to resusitate her but fail. It's not an out of this world theory. So what do they do? Their daughter is dead. They prescribed medicine they shouldn't have. They have careers and 2 other children. Do they risk losing everything? or do they cover it up knowing there's nothing they can do for Maddie now? It's not outwith the realms of probability if it happened a day or do sooner than we were told Maddie disappeared. They would have had time to for the meal alibi and to get rid of the body.
I'm not saying this is what happened. I'm merely throwing up the option. I sincerely hope they did not do it. They would instantly become the most hated people in the country. I hope Maddie is found...even if she is dead as horrible as that sounds...so one way or the other this can be put to bed. If the McCann's are innocent they need to get closure on this and if finding her proves they were involved then they need to be punished.
One things for sure...if they are innocent it's one of the first times there has been smoke without fire.