Life Of Crime
The Madeleine Conspiracies
December 20, 2007


By Martin Brunt, Sky News Crime Correspondent

I've tried so hard to avoid it, but I think I'm getting drawn into the McCann conspiracy theories industry.

Weeks ago I asked their man Clarence Mitchell why the apartment from where Madeleine disappeared was registered to an owner called McCann.

I had to pester him for an answer, which only added to my suspicion that it was Gerry and Kate's second home and for some reason they had pretended it was a holiday rental.

We finally nailed it. The place belongs to a Ruth McCann, a teacher in Liverpool (where Kate is from), who inherited it from her late husband.

She told us she was no relation to Madeleine's family and hoped she wouldn't be pestered after my inquiry.

In fact, she was more interested in learning whether she was likely to get compensation from the police who have, at last, kept the apartment as a locked crime scene.

I say all this, in a half-hour programme that's running at Christmas, as an illustration of this strange story in which it's not difficult to get sucked into looking for suspicion where none may exist.

The chance of the McCanns renting a holiday home from someone of the same name is 7,500-to-one.

That also means that there were probably three people called McCann at the Bruce Springsteen concert at the 23,000-seat O2 arena in Greenwich last night.

Now, earlier this year Springsteen contributed to an album raising funds for the homeless. So, too, did Madeleine Peyroux.

And Springsteen once played Lisbon. Aha! Suspicious or what?

You can see where I'm going with this? I'm surprised no-one else has made the connection.

Anyway, I didn't pursue this unbelievable coincidence. I'll leave that to the real conspiracy theorists.

I was too busy trying to work out why the crowd was booing Springsteen after every song, until my son pointed out they were actually shouting "Bruuuuuuuce" in adoration.

Written by Martin, December 20, 2007


Why is there no comments on this now.

Now children, note the following from the Mirror blog:

Sadly, due to persistent and serious abuses, we will no longer be hosting discussions regarding Madeleine McCann on this website. We do not take this action lightly, believing this website should be a place for free and frank discussion across the broadest possible range of subjects. But the level of debate on the Maddy forums has gone way beyond what we consider acceptable, with several recent incidents of extremely abusive postings, both against fellow users and the McCanns. We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour from a small handful of malign voices and have taken the unprecedented decision to block all further discussion on the McCanns.

Now - behave everyone please!!

Catherine, Luz
While I agree with you about the star charts and I think it is a possibility that Madeleine may have woken and walked out of the apartment, I stop short of believing that one or other of her parents either accidentally or deliberately killed her.
Like all bloggers on here I believe they were wrong to leave the children alone, and only they know how they are coping with that knowledge, but do I agree that they murdered her or accidentally killed her and covered up the crime? No, I have to say hand on heart that I don't.

Posted by: Hannah UK 7 Jan 2008 15:05:52


Could you please post this to the above part (Dark forces...) so that everyone can have acces to a very good stated argument?

Conspiracy Theory I think this one takes the biscuit.

Well what will the McCann’s scam up next and before anyone starts I know he looks like George Harrison but give the man a break, the teeth look like the ones they used in JAWS.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the FBI face makeup room; I bet the FBI guys must have been cracking up while making this one up.

As the guy on Sky News was yesterday who wafted the sketch up to the camera I swear he could hardly maintain his composure, just have a look at it again, he starts to smile and suppresses it. I can just imagine him before he went on slapping his own face and telling himself to be serious; it’s not George or Manson, the poor guy.

The teeth, could you believe the size of them, I’m surprised the FBI had any big enough in the make up box, let’s face it, talk about stand out in a crowd you could spot this guy from the space shuttle in orbit, just look down for the shadow cast across earth by his teeth.

Talk about stand out in a line up, that’s no where in it!

I think I have seen his like before in one of my early encyclopaedias, but if I remember rightly he had been embalmed first!

In fact on seeing the McCann news conference ivory poaches have set sail from Africa just on the strength of it.

Sorry I must be serious as it’s the McCann’s you know they are always right, they have a track record of being so! Te! He! He!

Well if they use this guy in the film where are they going to find the actor to play him.

It’s going to take so much make up he will think he is acting in Star Trek.

Now I never though of that if they can’t find him they could claim he is an alien and this was in fact an Alien abduction, well they have tried everything else to keep the heat off their backsides so why not try a bit of Sci-Fi as well.

Of course it could be some poor gardener who was minding his own business that night having a crafty smoke when Jane Tanner who I seriously think at the very least is a swinger and whatever she was on that night I want some because I feel left out, saw him and under the influence thought he looked like a man with no face, although I can’t explain how she missed those teeth as they must be such an individual characteristic they may be more damming than DNA.

Poor guy if he is for real he will be quaking in his gardening boots now knowing the McCann’s have him lined up as their latest target for their media distraction machine.

I have heard on the grape vine that the PJ were so influenced by the M3 information they shot straight around to the apartment to check for teeth marks.

Of course we know it is all a distraction from the fact that Kate and Gerry McCann deserted poor Madeleine and caused her demise in the first place.

But without any disrespect to poor Madeleine when the McCann’s get this funny you can’t help but laugh.

I still say the guy that gets the prize for keeping a straight face is the one on yesterdays McCann news conference, but I am so sure by the time he got into privacy he would have been helpless with tears of laughter streaming down his face as I was when he wafted the image of the dentists nightmare at the cameras.

for gods sake a little girl has gone missing,christ knows whats shes gone through or is still going through,yes,the parents made a mistake,but they shouldnt be condemned for sickos being at loose in the world !!!!nobody deserves this,,,the mcanns,not maddy,not anyone !!!!

Well whoever is behind little Madeleine’s disappearance has covered up their tracks really well. My heart and prayers go out to her she doesn’t deserve to be separated from her family. What I want to know is where are all these “so called psychics” that claim they can see the future and make contact with those who aren’t around us? Isn’t it about time they put their “talents” to some good use……

I'm up late watching all the websites, interesting theories etc ... but I've just seen one that angers me.

It's the McCannfiles site and see Sky video no I think 4 - the one showing them leave for Fatima. They are posed on the balcony saying googbyte to the twins, quick hugs for the camera, Kate nearly drops one of the twins.. they did not have to say goodbye on the open balcony so this was for the press.... and then we see Clarice outside directing things..ugh...

sorry I'm off the fence. Would love to hear these are two lovely young people declared innocent but sorry I simply do not believe them.

sorry Madeleine, hope you come back and prove me wrong.


I would not normally comment directly to opinion on this blog, I have tried to be objective with all my previous entries preferring to insert previous professional insight to this sad affair. I am however breaking my rule as you have exactly outlined every normal person´s opinion of the parents leaving the children for their own pleasures. It is exactly those actions that are considered when assessing whether an offence of neglect has occurred... well done for so succinctly stating the obvious. Like A. Miller I am leaning towards the wandering-off theory which exacerbates the actions of the parents.

You have in a few short words joined the ranks of the Kevin Bull´s of this world who show clearly their compassion and commonsense. I will make no comment about the other more inflammatory contributors such as the South Wales few other than to say ´there are none as blind as those that cannot see´.

Take care out there.


Thanks very much and I agree with what you say. Its nice to know that there are people like you out there that give people the benefit of the doubt and dont just jump on the bandwagon of slate and abuse.

Thanks and I will continue reading your blogs here and on the others.


I totally agree, time with other family members and friends is perfectly natural.

I mentioned in the passing that my child has never spent a night away from home (through choice).

I have absolutely no problem where or with whom anyone allows their children to spend time with - clearly provided they are with a responsible adult and in a safe environement in which the child is happy.

You'll get no argument from me on where you leave your children Lisa.


Hiya Bernice,

Wow, that's a tough one!!. I think you're right, to get to the bottom of it you simply have to leave the McCanns leaving them as a given and go beyond that objectively, and a lot of people can't do that. However, I'm not a black and white person so I can't give you a simple, this is how it happened as I think, sorry!!
1) Abduction - completely plausible, happened before in much more unbelievable circumstances. I can really buy that theory as for me, you have two seemingly independent witness statements and I can't see a gain for the Irish family to make it up. They've refused all publicity so I think they're reliable. There is no forensic evidence, but again, that's happened before. The PJ not sealing off the apartment was a fatal flaw and, to be frank, they could have, by now, discounted the abduction theory had they done that. Even with people wandering in and out the evidence, or not, could have been identified. I'm not saying 100%, but we will never know what they missed and that's crucial
2) Wandering off, a possibility but not plausible for me. She either got out of the window or the door. Now, the window, I don't think so, too much of a drop and why would a child do that? The door also doesn't make sense. Watching the footage/photographs from October the PJ is tesing the patio doors. 1) How does a child open them?, and why would a child close them after her? Not only that, the child gate at the top of the stairs, not sure on this but if they were closed it completely strikes the wandering theory for me, again why open and close? If it is implausible for an abductor to be wandering the streets for 35 minutes after the first sighting, is it not equally implausible that a chils could have got anywhere on her own. Even if she's picked up by someone, I would say that it's still an abductor theory not a wandering theory
3) Accidental death, for me, doesn't make sense, what was the motive? Sedatives I think could have been explained better by Gerry. He could have been honest and said that it does happen, but by then he'd been slated for the "other people do it" comment and I think he thought better about answering this new question. The swinging and recreational drugs stuff - ridiculous. If you're gonna do it, why in plain sight whilst taking the kids with you, makes no sense.
Most important for me about this one is, why go to all the trouble, hassle, etc to cover it up and then forget to get your stories straight? I think the inconsistencies actually make the whole thing make sense. If the timings were spot on, everyone singing from the same hymn sheet, I'd be suspicious. That would be rehearsed and much more suspicious than people getting the odd thing mixed up. Plus, if there are inconsistencies, why haven't the PJ invesigated this further? We've been hearing reports for weeks that they want to, but haven't, suggests to me they haven't got the evidence for the Judge to authorise further invesitgation on this.
Eye witness sightings are notoriously unreliable, simply because people are not always sure what they've seen and get things confused, but these people have seen things and can point the police in the right direction. I like the fact things don't make perfect sense.
Psychologists have said that keeping up this charade for accidental death is very unlikely, much more likely if it is intentional.
4) Intentional death, again what motive? I can't see any clear motive that hasn't got massive holes in it and why would anyone want to help cover that up. Moving a body weeks after death? Well, if they did then again a fatal flaw from the PJ, they should have been following them as they apparently were doing to Murat. The press certainly were, I don't think that moving a body in any way would be nice and again, if they can stage all this, why not get rid of the body earlier?
Phew, loads and loads more Bernice but on the other blog trying to go through each point rationally step by step and cover each theory proposed by the PJ, the family and the media. You will find, I'm open to suggestion and having my mind changed on some stuff, you will see that from me. I just think approaching it in this way makes more sense to me, also helps people to validate why they believe one thing and not the other. We've started on the abduction theory on the other blog if you want to throw in a couple of your views, because they have been helpful. Would you agree abduction's plausible, are there any factors that make it difficult to believe?

A Miller,

My child has happily spent nights with grandparents. In fact, many of my friend's children have done the same. Its not unusual or wrong to have evenings out - I think its good for both parent and child to have that experience. My child is confident, sociable and at ease with other people. So I don't think his time with family has caused any harm.

Its rare for children to never stay with family. And a shame, I remember with great fondness my nights with grandparents and want my child to have the same.

What other families do is of no concern or business to me. I wouldn't judge. Hence I don't come on here to judge the McCanns. I pray their child is found and their pain ends soon. I hope there are others on here who share my feelings.


One question- what is your REAL take on this case. No skirting around the edges, or making reference, just your honest opinion of what you think happened and who you "blame" so to speak. Ok we all know and agree that Kate and Gerry were wrong in leaving their kids alone and they acknowledge that and take the blame for that. Leaving that out of the frame I am interested to hear your answer.

Many thanks

Hiya Bubbles,

Yes, I do take your point on the theif scenarios. What you say does make sense.
Can I say something to you personally that has just crossed my mind and please please please take this in the nice way it is intended. I know you take a lot of stick on here and I know you've dished a lot out, but the way you've just handled that post is some of the most respectful, rational and downright applaudable comments I've ever seen. That's because I must admit I'd come to not paying too much attention because of the long and laborious running battles other passionate people have been having with you and you with them. I'd come to this kind of block in my mind where I'd simply ignore what they and you say. And with that post, I listened, and you got your point across, and actually using some of the analogies you've got me to agree with you. Continue in this vein and I'll agree with everything you say!! No, seriously I'm not being sarcastic just impressed with the new leaf you've turned over, hope I make sense!!
Ok, taking that you've made some valid points with your analogies, I'm going to throw another one in the mix for a couple of comments and see what we get.
The rape victim who wears the short skirt and the low cut top. The one who flirts outragously in public with her attacker, who leaves a club all on her own with him without saying where she's going after telling her friends she really fancies him. She carries on flirting, she makes it clear she fancies him, she goes back to her house with him and they get up to all sorts on the sofa. She doesn't consent to sex, she says no, she's raped, he uses the excuse in court "she was up for it". "If she didn't want it to happen she wouldn't have dressed like that, she wouldn't have kissed me, she wouldn't have taken me back to her house" Does that have the same implications as in this case?

Hannah lets put this another way...

If you had £1,000 and left it on an open windowsill, and someone came along and took it, who would be to blame initially?

If you had an expensive piece of jewellery and left it on a park bench while you went to a hot dog stand, came back to discover it was missing, who's fault would it be?

If you let your kids play in the house of a well known sex offender and they were abused, who's fault would it be?

You would answer all three with 'the thief...the thief and the pervert?'

How come? If YOU put that property at risk, then it is initially YOUR fault that any of this happened yeah?

Now looking at it another way. If you had money or jewellery and you had it locked in a safe, the thief came into your house and broke into the safe, snatched it, etc. Who would be to blame then? Naturally HIM. You made sure your property was secure and a thief stole it. Therefor you are not to blame. If you leave stuff open to criminals, they WILL take the chance and steal it.

The McCanns left those kids in an OPEN house. Doors unlocked, no supervision. That means THEY are to blame for her disappearance. They may not be to blame for whatever happened to her, but they sure are to blame for her abduction in the first place (if thats what happened)

If they HAD to leave those kids alone (and I totally disagree with that decision) then they SHOULD have made sure ALL DOORS WERE LOCKED!

Theres no excuse whatsoever for leaving them alone in an appt never mind leaving the place open to burglars.

Did it ever occur to them that even if a thief had gotten in, they would have frightened the kids? Did it ever occur to them that 80 paces wouldn't save their kids in the event of a fire/choking/accident?

Truth is, it takes seconds for something dangerous to happen. Even if they'd been there and one of the kids had choked, they would at least have been able to act quickly. But not if they aren't in the place and can't see or hear one of the children choking.

What i'd like to know is, did any of the kids have dummies (pacifiers)? What if they'd swallowed it? What if they'd started coughing and swallowed the dummy? What if a feather from their pillow had gone down their throat? How would they have been able to alert a parent when none was there?

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to forgive these parents for leaving those kids that night. Theres just no excuse for abandoning them for their own enjoyment.

As for the 'they didnt have babysitters because the service only checked the kids every half hour' far as i'm aware, the parents weren't making half hour checks at all. Kate checked at 8. Gerry checked at 9.05. I'm blond but even I know that makes it ONE HOUR AND FIVE MINUTES.

I'm struggling to understand WHY they took that decision in the first place. Every parent has these things at the back of their mind constantly. Call it anxiety. Call it what you like, but it has been known to happen many times.

Hiya A Miller,

Yes, I agree with you, if the earlier posters had said that I would not have commented. But they didn't, they said the McCanns were 100% responsible for the loss or death of Madeleine. Assuming there was an abduction (the loss) and she was subsequently killed by the abductor (the death) then that is plainly not true. They are 100% responsible for leaving the children on their own making it more likely that loss or death from an abductor could occur. Plainly two completely different things.
I do have to admit however, I'm not sure why the difference is such a problem for me. Think it's because I'm a stickler for this, what you're saying has to as much as humanly be possible on this subject, correct. Otherwise it mucks things up. I also have an inkling that at least on this blog, and in the public's minds, all over Europe and therefore perhaps the PJ, then this added "guilt" may be causing us not to look any further. This is just a simple psychological theory. If we can feel as a society that all the responsibility lies with the parents, then subconsciously, we don't have to consider anything worse. In a sense that abductor doesn't have to have a responsibility. It makes parents feel better to not have to deal with anything closer to home. If they can believe that if it wasn't for these parents, everything would be all right, then they as parents feel relieved. Because there's no way they would ever have done what the parents did, so there's no way this horrendous thing could happen to them.
It's the same theory as women murderers, particularly female child murderers. They are seen as "not normal"/"freaks"/"odd" and this unconsciously makes us feel better. Because if they are not normal, different from us in some way, then they can easily be explained away. Only when we are faced with the fact that this could be "normal", this could happen anywhere at anytime, does the human mind start to panic. But rather than deal with it, we explain it away

Hi Katy

All is very quiet here. After a sunny and busy Christmas and New Year, the crowds are gone and the rain has set in. There is still plenty of discussion on the daily garbage in the newspapers but we are all just waiting and hoping for something real to emerge.

You ask if things have changed - I think for those who know it, and as you know there are many regular visitors here, there will be no change to their feelings about Luz. The majority of my holiday clients are returners, some of whom visited here first as young children and who now bring their own families every year. They are still coming, and there are new families booking, so it does seem that people are able to make a sound judgement on the resort itself despite the tragedy of Madeleines disappearance.

Yes, maybe we could meet at Baptista for a coffee, although I am making a long winter visit to the UK next week to see family and friends and will be away for a month.

Claire -

are u trying to say thay we are less then 100% good parents then!!because we dont all come on the blogg and tell wot perfect parents we are and that we never do any wrong and we always make the right choices ect ect!!"

That is EXACTLY what i'm saying. NONE of us are 100% perfect parents. None of us. We might be great parents, but none are perfect. We've all made mistakes. But how many have deliberately left their children in the house and gone out partying? Answer that? Because if you did it and I knew where you lived, i would definately report you to social services. I don't give a TOSS what excuse a parent has, there is NO excuse which requires abandoning children that small while thinking of yourself and your own social life. None whatsoever. Theres a big difference between forgetting to pack your child's sandwhich because your mind was on something else - and deliberately going out and leaving them on their own. That is pre-meditated neglect.

Bernice - Those were your words. You said " I cannot believe for the life of me how so many people can say "I would never do that" meaning about leaving children on their own. And no, I didn't see it wrong because other bloggers have seen it that way too. I know for a fact I would never do that. Natural motherly instinct is to make sure your kids are safe AT ALL TIMES. Even if someone broke into your house to attack your family, your instinct would be to shield your children, am I right? It goes without saying that no 'responsible' parent would put themselves before their kids. Now what does that say about the McCanns?


What I was trying to say when I said "I would never do that" I was generalising my dear, I was not saying I leave my children alone. In laymans terms what I am trying to get across to most bloggers is never say never. Dont take it literally as if i am trying to tell you that leaving kids a lone is correct. Thats the mistake the McCanns made and you could make another mistake which has equall raminfications. Do you understand where I am coming from.


I can honestly say that I have never left my child alone.

My child has never spent a night away from home either, not with friends nor family.

Perhaps I am unusual in this.


Well put I agree. What gives someone the right to enter your property and take your child??? The anti McCann brigade seem to have all the answers. They seem to forget one very important fact "So for the grace of God go I". I cannot believe for the life of me how so many people can say "I would never do that". If you are honest with yourself you would never use that phrase, because just as quickly as you have said it something could happen. The moral of the story is never say never.

Posted by: Bernice Lund South Africa 4 Jan 2008 13:34:36

bernice i totally agree with u
but friend it takes honesty to admit their faults and wrong doings!! and that i dont think alot of them have!!

my kids are my life and will always come first no matter wot! i have always done wot i think is best for them!! but maybe it wasnt allways right who nows!!

are u trying to say thay we are less then 100% good parents then!!because we dont all come on the blogg and tell wot perfect parents we are and that we never do any wrong and we always make the right choices ect ect!!

see i dont feel the need to have to explain to all or put sob storys up to make myself a better parent!!


Bernice are you trying to say you HAVE left your kids unattended while out partying?

" I cannot believe for the life of me how so many people can say "I would never do that". "

I can categorically state that I would NEVER do that, hand on heart. Never ever would I leave my children home alone and go out for drinks or to a party. Never ever. Definately not. And anyone who has or thinks they could, needs to take a crash course on parenting!!

Its wrong, its illegal, its uncaring and its downright NEGLECT!!

Sorry, my mistake. The title of my story is 'My boy was days from death'

Its on page five if you type that phrase into the search engine. I'm not worried about my name and address being there because we no longer live at that address ;)

And to prove its me, you all will remember a few weeks back where I told how I've been housebound for years.

That story was printed in 2006 and he's had four scans since that operation. We've now been given the ALL CLEAR from docs who say they got ALL the tumor in the operation.

Ignore the pic btw. As you can understand, we were very stressed out at the time ;) It had been a long time and a hard battle to get anyone to listen to me.

My doc called me the day he was diagnosed and said 'I'm sorry, we'll never ever call you over-anxious again'

That doc is my best friend now. And she listens to me every time I have a problem.

And thats another reason why I can't understand how two medically minded people can be so negligent with their own children.

PS I dropped the charges in the end. We decided Grant's life was more important than anything and no amount of money would compensate for his life. Since we dropped the charges, he's improved almost 100%. He still has to have scans over the next ten years but docs are sure he won't develop another one.

The 'all clear' was given to us just before christmas this year. It made it a perfect christmas knowing theres no chance of the tumor every reforming!

Bernice Lund
There are many things in life where I could say ' there for the grace of God go I ' but never!!! about leaving my children alone in an unlocked apatment in a foreign country. Not only would I consider myself and my husband iresponsible for doing so ,but also, family holidays,are exactly that, family holidays.

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