The missing Madeleine McCann case seems to be a web of intrigue which makes one question thoughts previously held and taken as 'gospel'. Nearly 4 years on, there are many more questions than answers, otherwise knows as the McNiggles. Little things that stick in the mind and no matter what, they just can't be explained. From day one I've had these niggles, starting with the news that all these children were left to fend for themselves in empty apartments. Were they really left alone?? That little niggle intensified as I waited for news of the missing child and watched her father read a plea to the waiting press, not appearing to speak from the heart but reading from a sheet of paper.
More recently I read an article from yesteryear in This is London, and discovered that the journalist shared my niggle about certain points raised on Portuguese TV. I'm certainly not naive and believe that there is nothing wrong with swinging amongst consenting adults, but is this what this holiday camp is all about, to those in the know? Who knows what goes on behind closed doors? Or closed, open or partially opened windows? Or even those damn shutters? Anyway, I had hoped for some niggle relief, but me oh my, that little niggle just got bigger...
"Several Portuguese lawyers and journalists, along with a uniformed police officer from the National Republican Guard I spoke to outside the Ocean Club apartment, told me solemnly not only that the McCanns and their friends were "swingers" who had taken their holiday together to indulge in group sex (an assertion made repeatedly by the Portuguese Press), but that "everyone knows" that its tolerance of orgies is the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort's main selling point"
This is London 16.09.07
This is London 16.09.07
(I should like to make it clear to those guilty of skimming that the above quoted paragraph was taken directly from the aforementioned This is London article. I have not had any private or personal conversations with the GNR, although I really would like to.)
Next is the well publicised flouting of apparent religious devoutness of the couple. This is a couple who have partaken in IVF with wonderful consequences - not one, but three successes. Nothing is more precious than the birth of a child, and what a reward that child is after carrying and nurturing for all those months. And especially after the worrying first few weeks of IVF. A joyous outcome, yet the Catholic church opposes all kinds of in vitro fertilisation. We have also seen the religiously devout mother in the act of receiving holy communion from an Anglican priest (an act frowned upon by the Catholic Church, some would deem this as sinful!?) whilst a Catholic priest watched from the sidelines. A devout Catholic knows this is forbidden and would never receive it. This niggle grew into the even huger niggle of... have they been excommunicated? I recall Mrs Healy's confusion in the early days as to why her daughter had even asked for a priest because they weren't really religious?
The niggle of the book. Yes Goncalo Amaral's Maddie - The Truth of the Lie... currently available at all major bookshops in Europe as a result of the recent overturning of the ban. I quote Kate McCann yet again from yesteryear...
"Our main worry was people believing that Madeleine was dead and then stopping looking for her."
Fair enough, I totally understand and agree with that comment. Yet why no attempt to stop the book from being published in the first place? Why no attempt to block the sale of the book once it had been released? Why wait for months and months before taking any action, while in the meantime the book is selling out all over Europe, being translated online into English and being read by all and sundry. The Team weren't so concerned about the search being impeded or hampered during these months. Were they waiting for the sales tally to mount or were they spurred into action because an English version to be sold in the UK was in the offing?
Another little niggle that has been awakened in the last few days has been the phone and text messages that the parents and their friends reportedly deleted from their mobile phones. This irked me initially because surely on discovering their child missing they should have done the obvious - looked for her? Instead, deleting their calls became a priority rather than searching alongside the population of Praia de Luz and the police After reading the ruling of the three Portuguese judges who overturned the ban on Snr Amaral's book, my niggle surfaced and grew...
"What is certain is that since the start of the investigation there were incongruent and even contradictory situations concerning the witness statements; the telephone records of calls that were made and received on mobile phones that belonged to the couple and to the group of friends that were on holidays with them; the movements of people right after the disappearance of the little girl was noticed, concerning the state in which the bedroom from where the child disappeared from was found (closed window? open window? partially open window?) etc., and the mystery would only become even thicker due to the clues that were left by the already mentioned sniffer dogs."
And finally, a real niggling niggle that just won't go away no matter how I try to explain it. Eddie the Cadaver Dog who, according to the experts, is infallible. Eddie marks what he's trained to mark, nothing else. He does not lie. This dog was taken to various locations in and around Praia de Luz, yet the only place places marked were in relation to the family of missing Madeleine. In their apartment, clothes, car and sadly on Madeleine's favourite cuddly toy, Cuddlecat. To me that is a momentous discovery, and I just can't explain that other than the obvious - the dog was simply doing what he was trained to do, so who was he signalling?
With the ease of online browsing and a wealth of information at our fingertips, we are so much more informed than we would have been 10 or more years ago. A huge thanks should go to the many translators and foreign posters, without whom we would certainly be in the dark, following the inconsistent version of events of the parents and their friends. Should we believe them, can we believe them? Surely they do not have the definitive right to insist that we believe their version of events and nothing else? The police believe more questions need to be answered, indeed the mother refused to answer any questions... questions need to be answered but these answers just pose even more questions.
There are, of course many more niggles from Timbuktoo and beyond which could be collated and turned into one big niggle. Fact is, it's already been done and sadly it is what it is - the Case of Missing Madeleine McCann. Cobbled, nobbled and wobbled into one enormous McNiggle and I ask myself if this is just the simple case of a missing child, then why am I so irked? Now more doubts have been cast after reading the latest ruling in this sticky web. Perhaps the most important niggle of all... what really happened to Madeleine and where is she?