An updated version can be found HERE
An attempt at a reconstruction of a possible course of events, based on the evidence from the files and the rogatory interviews (a summary in English of my last blog entries):
I believe that Madeleine died some time between 18:00 and 21:00 on May 2nd. It had been a disastrous week with bad weather and without support from Gerry for Kate with the difficult task of bringing the children to bed. Gerry, who preferred to play tennis in the evening, ignored Kate at dinner and flirted with the aerobics teacher on Tuesday. When he left the apartment again, after only being there for a quick shower after his "Beating the Pro" tennis event until 19:30, heading off again to the Tapas and leaving Kate behind with screaming kids, the situation escalated on Wednesday. IMO Madeleine threw an extraordinary tantrum on the playground that carried on in the apartment, an incident Jane Tanner attributed to her own daughter and which was mentioned for the first time in her rogatory interview. According to her statement the crying stopped abruptly. IMO Madeleine died at this moment as a result of a blow while standing on the sofa trying to see her father who passed the window via the road below with his friend Russell. Presumably she hit her head on the windowsill or when hitting the floor behind the sofa. The crying stopped abruptly.
This special crying incident had never been mentioned before because it was just too dangerous. But they knew that a Mrs. Fenn had contacted the Police regarding the crying at Tuesday night. When the rogatories were conducted, the files had not yet been released and so they did not know that Mrs. Fenn had not been at home on the Wednesday. They suspected that she had heard the crying of the Wednesday as well and with the statement wanted to pre-empt the Police should this question arise.
During the night of May 2nd it was decided to cover-up the death. The children needed their mother, their careers would be ruined, the insufficient child monitoring, the nightly crying, everything would become apparent. That would make the whole group accomplices, since they all had the same relaxed attitude towards the monitoring of their children some much younger than Madeleine. Their futures would be ruined as well. With this reasoning the other parents could have been pressurised to support the cover-up. Dianne Webster though, was not trusted, she would be kept out of the know.
Understandably, Kate had not turned up for dinner that night. To cover for her absence Rachael later claimed she had been sick that night and had stayed in the apartment. In case a waiter had remembered the number of people or men and women at the table. That Rachael was not the missing person at dinner is evident from the statement by Jane who claimed to have listened at the Oldfield's window that night for their daughter. Had Rachael been in the apartment this would have been an absurd act. To avoid that somebody had seen Gerry coming back alone to the apartment, Kate stated that she arrived 5 minutes after him.
On the following morning the McCanns were not able to attend the usual breakfast. Six employees of the Millenium restaurant stated that they had attended regularly. Dianne Webster also said that she saw them on the Wednesday, the only day she attended since tennis was postponed due to the weather. The McCanns however claimed in their interviews that they had only attended the breakfast once on the Sunday, never again. The fairytale about the missing buggy that hindered them from walking the distance to the Millenium was spread via the media to enforce it. Free breakfast for 5 people not taken advantage of? Knowing Gerry it is hardly believable. And statements of seven people contradicting them. Had it emerged that they had been in the restaurant every day except the Thursday the police would have probed this evidence much more thorough. Buggies – in plural – were readily available for the excursion to the beach on Monday or Tuesday according to their own statements.
To fake an entry in the crèche records without actually leaving a child there cannot be that difficult.
There were kids from three groups, including the Junior Group, in the one room above the main reception and quite a number of nannies with changing shifts. Jane was talking about 4 or 5 nannies responsible in this room. It was not the 1 nanny with 6 children scenario Mark Warner wanted to portray. And certainly not the 1 nanny for 3 kids ratio the McCanns claimed in order to give more credit to the nanny's statement.
IMO Gerry entered the kids club together with at least one other father who happened to drop his daughter off at 9:10, signed when nobody looked and possibly chatted with one of the nannies that were present. Maybe he asked one of those that were not responsible for Maddie if she could attend the tennis again instead of the sailing, because sailing seemed a bit dangerous. Such was born the myth that Madeleine attended the Thursday tennis although she was there already on the Tuesday. In the beginning most of the friends stated that Madeleine had attended the Thursday morning tennis, Rachael even still stated this in her rogatories. The photo with Maddie on the tennis court was launched in the press as the first „last“ picture, although there had been concerns about showing the bruise on her lower right arm. Kate claimed it was a sunburn.
Kate had to attend the tennis lesson in the morning because Dianne Webster would have noticed her missing. Afterwards she went together with Fiona Payne, who collected her youngest daughter from the same building where Maddie's crèche was, to sign Maddie out of the crèche again. Possibly Russell also collected his daughter at the same time and both created enough diversion for her to do this unnoticed.
Lunchtime was used to organise the course of events for the evening. I am sure that at least Gerry took part. To avoid the only person not in the know – Dianne Webster – the usual lunch at the Payne's balcony was cancelled. For once they met at Jane and Russel's place. Most probably the only deviation from the lunch routine this week.
It was important to keep Dianne Webster away from the children's dinner at 17:00 therefore a group outing was organised without the McCanns to the beach restaurant Paraiso. Russell O'Brien first claimed to had seen his daughter in the Tapas restaurant at dinner then got his statement changed to read that he had collected her at 16:45 from the Kid's Club to take her to the beach restaurant. But he also claimed that he sailed until 16:30 and then went for a swim. He only appeared on the restaurant's CCTV at 17:52 together with his eldest daughter. Plenty of time to collect her from the children's dinner at 17:30 where she might have eaten in the presence of Gerry, the twins and possibly Kate. Then signed out as Madeleine.
It would certainly have fooled the restaurant worker especially if shown an old photo of Madeleine the next day.
How can it be explained that Catriona Baker was fooled? First of all, contrary to the statements she was not solely responsible for a little group of six children but was together with at least 2 other nannies responsible for a much larger group. They went together to the beach outings and her colleague was not sure if Madeleine had been with them on one day. So it was possible to get the days confused and the children. Secondly, Mark Warner only supplied 2 nannies for the first interviews with the police citing ONLY from the possibly faked crèche records. All other details were added much later, culminating in the very vivid narration about the boat trip in her rogatories, that had all the hallmarks of a statement prepared by a person who had never been to Praia da Luz, talking about launches and a port that was not there.
After the crèche records had been set in stone, no nanny would have dared to voice doubt afterwards in the face of grieving parents and the world's press. And should they have given some odd statements to the police (or Dianne Webster), their initial statements could have been ripped apart in a court by their lawyers when shown that it was an ARGUIDO who had translated them. Was this the reason for the framing of Murat?
In the afternoon of the 3rd the get-together of all previous evenings had to be cancelled for Kate and the twins because Dianne would have noticed the missing child. David had to act as the witness that ALL the children were too tired but alive and well. He and Kate made a right mess out of this story that was supposed to support the fact that Madeleine was still alive at that time. How long did he really stay? Did he go in and see the kids or was he just standing at the door with Kate obscuring his view? Why could he not remember what Kate was wearing, even though she was clad in a towel according to her? Why did he talk about “ALL the children“?
The evening at the Tapas restaurant was planned as the time where the abduction should take place, giving them all an alibi via the waiters and Dianne Webster. It was because of her that the rush from the table had to be staged before the actual disposal of the body took place because she would have noticed an earlier absense of Gerry. A risky plan. As early as 21:30 - 21:45 it was instigated by Kate who came running to the Tapas area entrance shouting at the group. Gerry immediately sprinted off for his meeting with the Smith family. The others followed not before Fiona had instructed Dianne to stay at the table “in case Madeleine would come to look for them“.
Dianne talked to the waiter a fact which later produced the statements about an early alarm way before 22:00. After about 5 minutes Dianne went into the McCann's apartment where she did not encounter Gerry who was still on his way towards the rocks. She spent about 10 minutes in the apartment, before being sent off again by Fiona to collect their belongings at the Tapas again. By now Gerry was back and possibly did a quick „search“ around the pool area to account for his previous whereabouts. When Dianne came back to the apartment the second time he was also there and never went on a search again. At around 22:30 (almost an hour after the first rush from the table) Mrs. Fenn heard Kate screaming from the balcony - a cry which had followed the second alarm – the official one – that led to the phone call to the police. The early rush from the table and the late second alarm explain why different person's statements varied almost about an hour in the time they had heard of the disappearance.
The encounter with the Smith family had been a disaster. Suddenly Gerry needed an alibi because he had been away from the table at the time of the meeting. The time of the actual alarm had to be confused so much that they could boldly place it at 22:00, the time of the Smith sighting. Therefore Kate's screaming from the balcony. But this was not enough. A completely independent witness had to give Gerry an alibi at the exact time of the abduction. The only independent witness that night had been Jeremy Wilkins and the time Gerry had met him was nowhere near the time of the Smith encounter. But it had to do... Poor Jane Tanner had to tell the police of her sighting of the abductor at the exact same time she had also seen Gerry and Jez talking together. In order to make her fantasy less obvious Gerry placed his meeting with Jez at the other side of the road further down. This made way for Jane's sighting, would explain why Jez did not see her and would also purport the theory that 3 witnesses never completely agree in their statements. The fact that the poor abductor had to wander the streets of Praia da Luz in search for the sea for 45 minutes was a fact the police should rack their brains about. Matthew's badly concocted statement about his visit in 5A served as additional “evidence“ that she was taken away between Gerry's and Matthew's check, thus by Jane's egg-man.
To explain this check by Matt in the light of Dianne's strict statement that all parents checked on their own children alone, additional checks had to be invented for the previous days. Russell had to state in his rogatory interview that he had checked on the McCann's and Oldfield's children on the Sunday with a key to the front door, which he later changed to a check in 5A via the patio door and in 5B via the front door with a key. ALTHOUGH Matt was supposedly sick that evening and inside the apartment.
This shows how devastating the Smith encounter was, how many "explanations" had to be created because of this stupid coincidence in a usually deserted dark alleyway.
Many thanks for the valuable supply of archived material and especially the translations of those go to http://mccannpjfiles.co.uk http://themaddiecasefiles.com http://www.mccannfiles.com and of course to the translators and all the clever posters from the Mirror Forum, the 3A's and the maddiecasefiles.