Madeleine – Discrepancies and Observations

Below are some points mentioned in Kate McCann’s book “Madeleine” where she may not be 100% accurate. (Page numbers in the tables refer to the electronic version. In the text below the tables, the first page number is to the hardback version and the second is to the electronic version.)





Page 56/31 : “In spite of what we’d been told about booking the Tapas restaurant, Rachael managed to get a table for nine at 8.30pm pencilled in for the rest of the week after having a word with the receptionist at the pool and Tapas area.”

Luisa Coutinho’s statement says that the block booking was made by one of the male members of the party on Sunday; the rogatory interviews with the McCann party say it was made by Rachael on Monday. Unfortunately it’s impossible to ascertain which account is correct as the document to which Kate refers isn’t amongst those released by the Portuguese authorities.

Page 57/32 : “that I ran back to our apartment for my camera to record the occasion. One of my photographs is known around the world now: a smiling Madeleine clutching armfuls of tennis balls.”

According to Rachel Oldfield, it was Jane Tanner who took the ‘Tennis Balls photo’. From her rogatory interview : “Madeleine and E**a and their sort of group came to have a tennis lesson as part of their creche activities, erm and Kate didn’t have her camera and Jane was there then as well and Jane took some photos of both Madeleine and E**a, that’s one, that poster of Madeleine with the tennis balls, that sort of pictures.”

Page 57/32 : “In the afternoon Gerry and I decided to take the children down to the beach.”

Kate is clearly placing this event on Tuesday afternoon (May 1st). However, the creche records show Maddie signing out of the creche at 12:20 and back in at 14:30 for the rest of the afternoon (see the sheet for the twins). Monday(30th) is the more likely day for the visit to the beach, between 12:10 and 15:15.

Page 65/36 : “We heard later that they’d been on a speedboat as well as a dinghy. Fiona told me she’d spotted Ella there but not Madeleine.”

Jane Tanner says that Fiona Payne saw both Ella and Madeleine. From her rogatory interview “Yeah, erm, I think we met Dave and Fi coming back and they said they’d seen Madeleine and Exxxx on a boat, because they’d taken the kids sailing that morning, so they said ‘Oh we’ve seen Madeleine and Exxxx on a boat down there’.”

Page 66/37 : “I remember feeling fleetingly disappointed that we hadn’t known they were all heading for the beach, as it might have been nice to have joined them, especially for the kids.”

Fiona Payne says that McCanns were told of the afternoons’ beach arrangements. In her rogatory interview : “So, again, that’s generally why we didn’t see them because they had things booked to do in the afternoon without the kids and we didn’t. So, you know, we had asked them but, you know, they had tennis lessons or something. So, yeah, we all headed, we headed off and then, once we were on the beach, …..”

Page 66/37 : “I had finished my run by five-thirty at the Tapas area, where I found Madeleine and the twins already having their tea with Gerry. “

The creche records show that Kate signed Sean and Amelie out at 5:25 and Madeleine at 5:30.

Page 68/37 : “She asked if she could wear my engagement ring, which she often liked to do”

Maybe not Kate’s engagement ring, but her wedding ring. From Kate’s diary, published in the News of the World 13/09/2008 : “I have clear recollections of that night. You were so tired. After your baths, you sat on my knee and put my wedding ring on your finger.”

Page 69/38 : “In fact, we’d wondered about doing that [have a leisurely dinner in the sitting room or on the veranda] tonight”

From ITV’s ‘One Year On’ programme, they’d also considered all going to another restaurant, the Millennium. “It was just because the walk was so long and we didn’t have a buggy and the kids were tired by that time and I thought we were, you know we did talk about going up to the Millennium that night.”

Page 69/38 : “We exited via the patio doors at the back, facing the restaurant and pool area, just as we had done the previous three nights.” And “After ordering his food, Gerry left to do the first check just before 9.05 by his watch. He entered the apartment via the patio doors “

And yet Gerry’s first statement states “Thus, at 9.05 pm, the deponent entered the club [i.e. the apartment], using his key, the door being locked,”, though his  second statement says “At 21H05, ….. He walked the normal route up to the back door, which being open he only had to slide”. This is strange. By Thursday, the routine was that they checked via the patio doors which is why they left them open, and according to the book and Gerry’s second statement, that was how he’d come in. So why the confusion in Gerry’s first, detailed, statement?

Page 71/39 : “Then I noticed that the door to the children’s bedroom was open quite wide, not how we had left it. ….. Suddenly it slammed shut, as if caught by a draught.”

“Quite wide” or “completely open”? Both Kate and Gerry’s first statements say “and saw right away that the children’s bedroom door was completely open,”. And there is no mention of the door slamming in any of their statements.

Page 72/40 : “Everybody sprinted back to our apartment, except for Dianne, who remained in the Tapas area, and Jane, who was away from the table seeing to her kids.”

“Sprinted” or walked? From David Payne’s rogatory interview : “and as we were walking up towards the flat she said err you know they’ve taken her and it was, you know, and I know there’s been a controversy about what was actually said but you know that is very accurately what had been said.”

Page 75/42: “Scared for them, too, I placed the palms of my hands on their backs to check for chest movement, basically, for some sign of life.”

It seems Matthew Oldfield had no problems seeing the twins were breathing without even entering the room. From his rogatory interview : “‘You could see the shapes and you could see they were breathing, you’d stop and look and you could see they were sort of breathing ….. You could make out that it wasn’t blankets and just something piled there, you could see the chest moving”

Page 75/42 : “Then a lady appeared on a balcony – I’m fairly certain this was about 11pm, before the police arrived – and, in a plummy voice, inquired, ‘Can someone tell me what all the noise is about?’ I explained as clearly as I was able, given the state I was in, that my little girl had been stolen from her bed, ….”

The lady on the balcony, Mrs Pamela Fenn, makes no mentions of Kate speaking to her. In her statement, she says “Mrs Fenn then saw that it was the mother of little Madeleine who was shouting furiously. Upon leaning over the terrace, after having seen the mother, Mrs Fenn asked the father, Gerry, what was happening to which he replied that a small girl had been abducted. When asked, she replied that she did not leave her apartment, just spoke to Gerry from her balcony, which had a view over the terrace of the floor below. She found it strange that Gerry when said that a girl had been abducted, he did not mention that it was his daughter and that he did not mention any other scenarios.”

Page 144/79 : “Saturdays had become family days: a bittersweet idea.”

Saturdays were the only days the creche was closed; this was the day that guests at the complex arrived and left.

Page 206/113 : “Left with only the clothes we were wearing, we were all asked to leave the villa.”

Kate and Gerry will have chosen to leave the villa, as the search warrant states “mentioning that they can be present during the search and be accompanied or substituted by someone of confidence will be delivered.” p8p2085

Page 219/120 : “Did they really believe that a dog could smell the ‘odour of death’ three months later from a body that had been removed so swiftly?”

While Kate is correct in that it takes time for chemical reactions to produce the ‘odour of death’ that a cadaver dog would detect (90 minutes or less depending on local conditions) , there is no record of any suggestion that the body had been removed swiftly. Only Kate that has put forward this scenario.

Page 243/134 : “Then came the best bit. My lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu announced what police had proposed. If we, or rather I, admitted that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment, and confessed to having hidden and disposed of her body, the sentence I’d receive would be much more lenient: only two years, he said, as opposed to what I’d be looking at if I ended up being charged with homicide.”

This differs from the statement Philomena McCann gave to the press the next day, in a couple of ways.”They tried to get her to confess to having accidentally killed Madeleine by offering her a deal through her lawyer – ‘if you say you killed Madeleine by accident and then hid her and disposed of the body, then we can guarantee you a two-year jail sentence or even less’.” . Firstly the book makes no mention of Kate [accidentally] killing Madeleine, and secondly there’s no mention of any sort of deal either (the concept of the ‘plea bargain’, as seen in many an American court-room drama, does not exist in Portugal). It sounds like, having given the family the “green light to voice their outrage”, Kate is now backtracking in the book.

Page 328/182 : “Jane’s description had not been released to the public before the Irish witnesses made their statements), I am staggered by how alike they are, almost identical in parts.”

“Almost identical in parts” maybe, but the Smiths describe the skin colour as “normal” whilst Jane describes her sighting as “dark skinned”. Also the Smiths all describe the hair as short and brown or light-brown, while Jane Tanner describes it as “long at the neck” and “very dark”.

Page 328/182 : “As a lawyer once said to me, apropos another matter, ‘One coincidence, two coincidences – maybe they’re still coincidences. Any more than that and it stops being coincidence.'”

Coincidentally, the cadaver and blood dogs only signalled at various locations relating to the McCanns despite being also presented with a variety of locations relating to their friends and Robert Murat.

Coincidentally the only couple not at the Paraiso Restaurant on May 3rd were the only couple to report their child missing that evening.

Coincidentally the only evening during the week that a parent did a visual check of children that weren’t their own was by Matthew Oldfield on the evening Madeleine disappeared, and coincidentally in doing so, he did not check the one McCann child that was missing.


Credits : The above points were initially compiled over several months by members of The Maddie Case Files forum. All I’ve done is edit their work into a more readable format.


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  1. Pingback: Did I read that right? | The McCann Mosaics

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