I am sure few can have escaped hearing about the unfortunate McCann family and the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.
Now, it seems, the Portuguese police are looking to pin the disappearance on her parents Kate and Jerry. They are apparently suggesting that Kate McCann drugged her daughter to make her sleep, giving her an overdose that killed her.
Then she, possibly in concert with her husband, concealed the body for weeks and then hired a car and disposed of the body using a hire car.
Let's look at some of what is known about the matter.
Madeleine’s parents were checking on the children regularly and returning to a meal with friends Presumably they were acting normally, eating, chatting and giving no indication to people who knew them well that there was anything amiss.
When Madeleine was found to be missing they reacted immediately and attempted to raise the alarm immediately. The Portuguese police were informed, but initially did not take the matter seriously.
This is to some extent understandable, as they must have many children who do wander off briefly. Though In the UK given the proximity to the sea and rocks the police might well have reacted with a view to the welfare of the child and the possibility of their coming to harm accidentally. That the Portuguese police do not seem to have concerned themselves over.
The search for Madeleine was driven to a greater level than might otherwise have been, largely it seems, due to the McCann’s pushing the Portuguese authorities by means of publicity. There were certainly some rumblings of disquiet from them over the publicity. Also someone possibly connected with the police had apparently been briefing against the McCanns for some time.
Up to 1974 the country was still a dictatorship. Policing in a dictatorship does not always require the same skill-sets and priorities as democracies. They will not be the same as we may be familiar with. They are working under quite different rules, conventions, laws and possibly priorities as we are used to.
Whilst the Portuguese authorities may have preferred a less high profile search, Madeleine’s parents apparently decided her best chance was for her face to be known as widely as possible and to be kept at the forefront of people’s minds as much as possible.
Unfortunately this strategy whilst probably the best for Madeleine’s chances was not so good for next year’s Portuguese tourist season.
So on the face of it. If the scenario being implied by the Portuguese Authorities has any likelihood at all it would have initially required great acting abilities and the split second timing of a criminal mastermind to have fooled their friends, or possibly some sort of compact to conceal the crime between them all.
If it was just Kate McCann then the feat would have been impossible without ice nerves like steel, the acting abilities of an Olivier, combined with the strength speed and stamina of a pentathlon athlete, etc., etc.
As to the crime it’s self? If ever did administer any sort of sedative the surely being medically trained they would have known what they were doing and rather unlikely to have done so by mistake.
Moving on: So having concealed the body somewhere sufficiently cunning that it could not be discovered - and would not go off in the heat, all without their friends becoming aware. Whilst at the same time organising a fake hunt for their missing daughter – and having had an out suggested by the police who thought she might have gone wandering. The parents failed to take advantage of the chance to drop her in the sea in the dark.
Continuing on further: Rather than make enough fuss to be convincing and let the matter die down without the police suspecting them at all, at this point, if you follow tthis line of 'reasoning', they chose to push the matter - and keep pushing it, to ensure it came to the attention of the world. Clearly causing some irritation on the part of the Authorities and ensuring that they couldn’t wipe their noses without it being splashed across the pages and screens of the world’s media.
'Cunningly' they do this until they can't move without a camera pointed at them and then, at this point, they hire a vehicle and use it to take the body away for disposal and then successfully dispose of it, all without being filmed doing it, by a small international media army, following their every move.
Oh and there is the matter of Kate McCann’s religious faith. If she did have a hand in the child’s demise, she successfully managed to front out the spiritual head on earth of her faith, with no more sign of distress than a mother desperately hunting for her child might display.
Now that would be true and chilling cunning for you.
Personally I’ll need a teensy bit more convincing…
The McCann’s behaviour appears to have been consistent in every way with parents doing literally everything they can possibly think of to maximise the chances of recovering their daughter, having subordinated their lives for months to that end. A daughter they believe to be alive somewhere.
It does not appear consistent with someone, who had killed his, or her, child and was trying to conceal it.
The fact that Madeline disappeared in Praia da Luz should not put people off visiting there, such things regrettably happen in other places. The police response on the other hand and how the McCanns have fared there lately - That ought to make anyone thinking of visiting Portugal next year think twice.
Maybe someone gets just a little too irritating…