Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

09 - MAI 11/18 - Interviews MC

Interview des MC 
11.05.2009 - Rita Jordão (correspondante SIC à Londres)



Les deux arguments de défense sont clairement exposés une fois de plus. Tout d'abord Madeleine est vivante (ils le "sentent") et, si elle n'a pas été encore retrouvée, c'est en raison des bâtons dans les roues suscités par la propagation d'hypothèse de mort accidentelle (Gonçalo Amaral)
 
Rita Jordão : How would you describe the last two years, errr... for you? How have you lived them?
Gerald MC : It's been awful, errr... let's face it, you know, anybody who's, errr... had their child taken would say the same thing and it's been the longest, errr... two years of our life, without a doubt, but at the same time, the last, errr... few months are so busy that it really flies by. Sometimes too quickly.
Kate MC : I mean, obviously, the first few days are the worst days of my life and, errm... you know, I think unless you've been in a situation like that you'd have no concept of how painful it was, errm... and each day, obviously, is painful. I mean, it doesn't... you know, we miss Madeleine beyond words, so everyday is hard and painful. It's not as raw as it was, obviously, in those few... first few days but it's still incredibly difficult, errm... but it's just the hope of finding Madeleine, really, that keeps us going. (1)
GMC : I think that's really important, that's why we're here because there are things... we are still hopeful, there are things that can still be done.

RJ : How much is she still part of your daily lives? How much do you live with her in the house?
GMC : It's huge. Huge part of our life. She's around us all the time. She's part of, errr... where we live, who we... you know...
KMC : We're a family of five, you know, and her absence... absence is tangible, you know, we're obviously trying to find Madeleine. I work to try and find Madeleine everyday, you know, she's... Sean and Amelie talk about Madeleine everyday, you know, she's around the house; she belongs in the house, you know, and... she's always with us, you know... we just...

RJ : When this whole thing happened the twins, errr... were very young. Now, two years on, how do they understand what happened to their sister? How do they cope with it?
KMC : Well, they don't fully understand. They know Madeleine's missing, errm... they know that we're all looking to find her and they talk very positively about when Madeleine comes home, errm... I mean she's a huge part of their life, you know, she was in their life, obviously, since they were born, errm...
GMC : You know, they... they are doing brilliantly and they know... they also know that it's wrong that she's not with us and, errm... they believe that she's been taken away and we don't know where she is but people are looking for her and we've obviously had, errr... professional advice about how to cope, errr... with bringing up children in this situation and, errm... and it's a case of... you know, its been made clear to us; you fill in the gaps as they en... ask and enquire.
KMC : Let them take the lead really, so you give them as much information as... as they ask for.

RJ : Is Madeleine's room still exactly how she left? 
KMC : Yeah, there's a lot of presents in there (laughs) for her... that are new...
GMC : Some more after tonight.
KMC : ...and there's pictures that Sean and Amelie have drawn but, yeah, there's a few additions in there.


RJ : What are your main fears of what could have happened to Madeleine?
GMC : Our worst fears was, errr... and it was very apparent early on; our worst fear was that Madeleine had been abducted by a sexual predator, abused and killed. And, in the first couple of days, we found it difficult to imagine any other scenario than that but, I think, errm... you know, and it will also be in the documentary tomorrow, usually in those situations the children are found - and other bodies are found - very, very quickly and actually the lack of any evidence of harm to Madeleine makes it more unlikely. (2) As parents, I think that's the worst thing, isn't it? That you think, errm... people, law enforcement, the public are going to give up on your child assuming that this child may be dead but, you know, there's no evidence, no evidence to suggest that...
KMC : You know, and it's just so wrong to assume; if there's no evidence that your child has come to any harm, how awful for that child to assume and give up, I mean... you know...
GMC : Yeah.

RJ : About the documentary, obviously, you... you didn't go back, but what was it like for you to be back at Praia da Luz.
GMC : Well, it was very... what, errr... I mean, we've wanted to go back for a long time, that... I think that's the first thing to say. We've got, errr... a lot of friends in Praia da Luz, we've had tremendous support, particularly from the community and the... and the Catholic church and a lot of ex... also ex-pats who we got to know reasonably well while we were there so, errm... so there were good bits about it, obviously we were going back for a very specific focus and, errm... and I think we've managed to achieve that. We would like to be able to go back without causing, you know, a media stir and I think that's obviously one of the downsides of what's happened over the last two years.
RJ : Why a reconstructive documentary now? Why the decision to make it now?
KMC : A few of the, errm... sequences in the documentary are basically like reconstructions of events that happened around the time Madeleine was taken and we're desperate really for people to come forward if they know any information about those events, errm... or if, you know, it might jog a memory of somebody and... (3) 


RJ : Over the last two years there... there were big movements pro and against the McCanns. Is that still part of your lives? Does that still affect you in any way?
GMC : You can't... you're not immune from it but I think it's the most important thing here to emphasise is it's not about kate and I, it's not about the McCanns, it's about Madeleine and there's an innocent little girl that's missing and we would appeal to anyone to think about that. We're trying to find that little girl and find out who took her and, you know, people can pass on whatever information they want... they want about us but it's not about us, it's about Madeleine and who took her. It's also true to say that, you know, we are the only people pro-actively trying to get new leads, and that's... that's quite hard to say but, you know, the onu... the onus has fallen on us to keep looking for Madeleine. (4)
KMC : Somebody might have seen something and they may not think it's relevant but it might be. There could be people who know something but, for whatever reason, haven't come forward and the person that's taken Madeleine is known to somebody, you know, it's someone's son, grandson, you know, cousin, partner, neighbour, brother, you know, somebody knows that person. Everybody is known to somebody and they may have been sitting there thinking: 'I wonder if it's... ' and obviously, you know, if it's someone that you know, you'd like to think... you try... you try and make it not the case and I guess it's just saying: 'Please, if you have any information, or anything you think, please come forward, you know, Madeleine's missing, the sooner we find Madeleine and the person who took her this can be all over for everybody and particularly Madeleine, you know.

RJ : This documentary, errr... comes out, errr... about the same time as Gonçalo Amaral's, errr... film, errm... is this just a coincidence?
GMC : You'd have to ask him about that but if anyone's seen it I'd like them to compare what, you know, we have in the documentary that is based on trying to ascertain evidence and fact and proactively trying to find a child, not persuade the public that a child, who's missing, is dead, without any evidence, errr... and, you know, one has to ask themself: 'What... why would someone do that? Why would someone try to persuade the public that a missing child, an innocent missing child, is dead?' You know, and that's unforgivable, you know, we cannot forgive that. (5)
KMC : Why does he not want to find Madeleine?
GMC : He's certainly not doing anything to try and find her, whereas we are, you know, and that's the difference. We're trying to find her and who took her, not persuade people about some ridiculous theories that are not backed up by any evidence whatsoever. (6)

RJ : There's also been Gonçalo Amaral's book and at the time there was a lot of talk about possible legal charges brought up by you against Gonçalo Amaral. Are you still considering these legal charges against him?
GMC : We certainly haven't ruled it out. The reason we haven't done it to date is we didn't want to create... and I think there's been enough Anglo-Portuguese angst, particularly in the media and we certainly, errr... didn't want to exacerbate that but, you know, he clearly is getting, errr... more outrageous and we certainly wouldn't rule it out.
KMC : At the same time, you know, it... it's a distraction, you know, what Mr Amaral is doing. I mean, it's... it's damaging to our search, errm... but at the same time, you know, we want to find Madeleine. We want to move forward and get new information and we don't want to be derailed by negative people who have their own agendas, you know, so...
GMC : That is... I mean, that's a very good point, you know; we don't want to look back, we are trying to do things, but it gets to the point, errr... where you just think: 'enough's enough'. (7) 

RJ : How have you worked as a couple? I mean, how do you support each other to go through the difficult stages? Errr... if there are more difficult...
GMC : We... I mean, it's very much what you say. We do support each other and we've got tremendous family support and friends in the network and that's just incredibly, errr... important and, you know, I know for... never doubted for a second, errr... that... that, you know, either of us have been involved and we’re completely together with... with a special bond with Madeleine that we had, errr... when she was born and it's...
KMC : We're just... I mean, obviously we're kind of united in our aim to find her, you know... you know...
GMC : And we do support each other...
KMC : It hasn't been an easy two years, on many grounds, but, you know, we were strong before... before this happened and we've had amazing support and we've got through. We love Madeleine, we love Sean and Amelie and that's enough to keep you together and keep you going, you know, and maybe we're lucky from that point of view, I don't know, but...

RJ : Do you ever worry that the campaign, errr... will in, you know, any way... on the twins by giving them, maybe, less attention than... than Madeleine's receiving from everybody? Would that...
GMC : No, I mean, it's very, errr... you know, they're a huge part of our life and they help us tremendously 'cause they bring tremendous joy to our life and it would be a terrible thing if, you know, when they're a bit older and they say: 'So what did you do to try and find Madeleine?', you know, and we turn round and say: 'Well... ahhh... errr... errm...', you know, they want to find her and, you know, very much talk about when... when she comes home and, when you're having a bad day, that is a real pick up. There is no reason, at this minute, to believe Madeleine cannot walk through that door. (8)

RJ : Do you guys talk about when she comes home?
GMC : Errr... we do with the kids and certainly when they bring it up.
KMC : Yeah, not so much with each other because its almost like you... it's so good, you kind of stop yourself, I think. I think, there's something that kind of...
GMC : I think until we have seen tangible evidence that Madeleine is alive; there; a photograph; spoke to her; and we know that she's safe; and, you know, has been rescued, it... its hard to go there, for us, because that would just be the most over... whelmingly joyful occasion for us.
RJ : What did you guys felt when you saw the new pho... the new picture, errr... that was just published, errr... a few days ago, errm... of Madeleine looking two years older than the last time you saw her?
KMC : That isn't how I remember Madeleine, obviously I remember Madeleine nine days before her 4th birthday and I guess, seeing her at 6, it's a reminder really of what Madeleine has missed out on and what we've missed out on. Then, at the same time, I can appreciate how important it is because it's very hard to visualise what she would look like at that age unless somebody presents you with an image and we've had people send us photographs directly and say: 'We're still looking for Madeleine. Is this Madeleine?' You know: 'We were on holiday and saw this little girl' and it... it's a 3-year-old girl in the picture, so it's incredibly difficult for people, you know, so we have to, I guess, remind people that she's 6 now and she does look older and we believe this is a good representation of what, you know, she... she may look like today.
RJ : It's her 6th birthday, errr... tomorrow...
GMC : Yeah.
RJ : ...and will you mark that day in any way?
GMC : It'll be a very private, errr... quiet, family affair but, of course, we will, yeah.


Keep your ennemies closer


 (1) Ce que Kate MC décrit est ce qui est convenu d'appeler, à la suite de Sigmund Freud, "le travail de deuil", qui consiste fondamentalement à souffrir, réagir, reconnaître et à substituer à la perte une présence intérieure. La douleur va s'amenuisant, ou plutôt évolue d'une phase aigüe en partie intégrante de la vie. 
L'état émotionnel de parents dont l'enfant a été kidnappé est évidemment très différent. Ce ne sont pas les premiers jours les plus terribles, car l'espoir est grand qu'une demande de rançon ou des conditions de restitution s'expriment. Mais plus le temps passe sans manifestation du ravisseur, plus l'angoisse monte et le doute tenaille, sans espoir de dénouement ni d'apaisement.
La disparition de MMC est la cause de l'incomplétude de la famille MC, bien que l'enfant soit toujours avec eux, bien que sa chambre soit intacte, bien que les jumeaux parlent d'elle quotidiennement.
(2) Gerald MC, qui décrit de très longs mois aboutissant paradoxalement à un temps qui passe parfois trop vite, conclut bien rapidement sinon de manière inconséquente : pas de corps, donc pas de mal, comme si un enfant arraché à sa famille pouvait échapper aux stigmates d'atroces blessures affectives.
Au début les MC étaient convaincus que MMC avait été enlevée par des pédophiles, abusée et tuée, mais comme rien ni personne n'est venu confirmer cette hypothèse, ils en ont conclu qu'on ne pouvait conclure que quelque chose de mal lui était arrivé (argumentum ad igorantium). 
(3) "Comme une reconstruction", avec des acteurs, encore que le conflit d'intérêt est implicitement de mauvais aloi, et non comme une reconstitution effectuée par les protagonistes eux-mêmes.
(4) Ils sont les seules personnes à activement essayer de trouver de nouvelles pistes. Ils ne peuvent parler d'eux-mêmes, qui n'ont jamais cherché, mais quid de leurs détectives privés, à tendance "escroc" il est vrai, et de leurs campagnes, qui ont eu pour effet à chaque fois une avalanche de faux signalements que la PJ devait investiguer sous peine de sarcasmes des tabloïds britanniques ? Après tout ils ont délibérément, probablement en raison du statut de témoin assisté qui ne serait pas levé, refusé de demander que l'enquête criminelle laisse la place à une phase d'instruction.  
 (5) Pourquoi quelqu'un voudrait-il, sans apporter de preuve, persuader le public qu'une enfant disparue est morte ? Mais aussi bien pourquoi quelqu'un voudrait-il, sans apporter de preuve, persuader le public qu'une enfant disparue est vivante ? Tout aussi vain, si ce n'est absurde. Il faudrait donc poser la question d'une autre manière. GA a-t-il un intérêt à divulguer la thèse de la mort dans l'appartement ? C'est la conclusion de son équipe, comme il a été démis de sa charge de coordinateur de l'enquête, il ne peut plus aller jusqu'aux ultimes conséquences de cette conclusion, il l'écrit. On peut dire que l'intérêt de GA est d'auto-estime et d'ordre professionnel. Quant aux MC, ils ont plusieurs raisons de divulguer la thèse de la survie : outre un fonds, alimenté par la générosité du public pour retrouver Madeleine, il y a leur propre crédibilité.
(6) Gonçalo Amaral a coordonné l'enquête criminelle pendant cinq mois extrêmement intenses et tendus. Dire qu'il n'a pas essayé de trouver l'enfant est tout simplement idiot. Quant à sa théorie de mort dans l'appartement, pourquoi serait-elle ridicule ? La thèse de l'auto comme véhicule funéraire trois semaines plus tard est effectivement grotesque. Mais la thèse de l'enlèvement du lit par les persiennes et la fenêtre forcées/ouvertes est tout aussi grotesque.
(7) Gonçalo Amaral apparaît comme la figure de l'ennemi public numéro un, il met des bâtons dans les roues de qui cherche Madeleine, il ne veut pas qu'on la trouve, il est littéralement un malfaiteur, quelqu'un qui fait et veut le mal.
(8) La résilience existe, mais les psychologues doutent qu'une enfant d'à peine 4 ans trouve en elle, dans le moindre des cas, la force de résister à l'atroce adversité d'être soustraite à sa famille.



Les MC invités à This Morning
18.05.2009 - ITV
Transcription de Nigel Moore


Le programme commémore la journée internationale des enfants perdus de vue. 


Fern Britten : Good morning. Every year it's estimated that 43,000 children go missing in the UK and in the lead up to International Missing Children's Day we're speaking exclusively to Gerry and Kate McCann; two years on from the disapperarance of their daughter, Madeleine.
Philip Schofield : Plus the family of Katrice Lee who's been missing for 27 years. Find out how they're hoping to prevent other parents suffering the same heartache, next.
FB : Now, it's estimated that 43,000 children go missing in the UK every year. Now, we know that many children are found but there are several who aren't and hundreds of thousands more around the globe.
PS : Well, to mark International Missing Children's Day, five missing children are being used to raise public awareness in the UK.
Voice Over : On the 28th of November 1981, Katrice Lee disappeared from a supermarket in Germany whilst shopping with her mother; it was her second birthday. Ben Needham was just 21-months-old when he went missing, 18 years ago, on the Greek island of Cos. 16-year-old Damien Nettles disappeared on the 2nd of November 1996; he'd been out with friends in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. On the 3rd of May 2007, 3-year-old Madeleine McCann went missing from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, and, in August of that year, 15-year-old Paige Chivers went missing from Blackpool. All of these children - some of whom will now be adults -are still missing.
FB : Well, we're joined now by the families of two of those missing children: Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter, Madeleine, went missing in Portugal two years ago.
PS : And Sharon Lee, whose daughter, Katrice, who was 2-years-old when she disappeared, 27 years ago, from a German supermarket. And Sharon is here with her daughter Natasha.
FB : And also joining us is Chief Constable Peter Neroud, from the National Police Improvement Agency. Welcome, everybody. Thank you for being here.

Errm... Kate and Gerry, errr... the documentary that was on last week was absolutely brilliant and really highlighted the amount of work that's going on behind the scenes to find Madeleine and it's very difficult when we had days-and-days and weeks-and-weeks of publicity in the... in the newspapers and then it goes quiet but you're working so solidly behind the scenes to find her. We saw you meet the man in America who did a photofit of... of Madeleine as how she could be looking now. Errm... And has that prompted anything yet? Are you getting anything positive from that?
Gerald MC : I think, errr... you know, the National Centre in, errr... for Missing and Exploited Children in, errr... Washington has quite a long track history of doing these things. They've had a fantastic, errm... recovery rate, errm... (1) 
FB : He said he found 900 children.
GMC : Ern... yes, that's right, Ernie Allen who's the... the President and Chief Executive Officer, errm... 900 children. So, th... that's kids who've all been missing for more than 2 years, so... Errr... I have to say we've had lots of information come in following that... that image but, of course, probably naturally, errr... after we did our interview in the States, a lot of the sightings were from the States and, errr... you know, they all need to be filtered and I'm sure Peter is, errr... all too aware, errm... you know, you need... you need things verified and the credibility and a lot of the information we've got we... we have to pass back on to the police, errm... but, you know, it's a good response and I think, fro... from our point of view, the key thing was challenging what Madeleine looks like now, compared to the image that everyone's got ingrained in their head and... (2) 
Kate MC : I mean it's very hard to imagine... guess, what a child will look like 2 years later and obviously the Madeleine that we remember is, you know, the Madeleine... that she was and it's obviously the same for other families too and I think the general public that's difficult as well and I've had people send me photographs saying 'I want you to see this, can you tell me that this isn't Madeleine. I was on holiday in Spain, or whatever' and it's a 3-year-old in the picture.
FB : Yes.
KMC : You know, so...
PS : People do forget that time hasn't stayed still...
KMC : That's right.
PS : ...where... wherever she is, errr... and the assumption that, you know, that hope that she is still alive, errm... of course, she will be... she will be growing up and as a... as a... as a mum and as a dad, errm... to look at that picture, that when you... you're finally looking at someone that you don't know.
KMC : That's right. I mean, it was obviously incredibly emotional when, errm... when the picture was produced and trying to ge... get that picture into your head as Madeleine may look like this. It's very difficult but...
GMC : Yes, you've got that difficulty that, you know, the first time I saw it, I said: 'That's not Madeleine' but...
PS : Yes.
GMC : ...you've got to remember, you know, it... it's what she probably looks like now but she's still our daughter and, errr... and you have to remember all the personality aspects and the fact that, you know, four years of her life were spent with us and we've just got to find her, (laughs) that's the most important thing.

FB : The frustrating thing, as a viewer of that documentary last week, was that you want these images; this level of… of publicity, to be focussed in Portugal because the two, errr… investigating officers, that you have taken on board to search for her, they… they’re looking and they… they’re saying, ‘We think we should start in Praia da Luz’, which is where she was last seen, but, suddenly, when the investigation started, it was spread far and wide and people forgot to look right there. So, what’s happening in Portugal? Are you able to get these pictures; get this publicity out there? (3) 
GMC : I think, you know, the… the documentary was shown, errr… the… just last week as well, and obviously the Oprah interview was shown as well, so the image was on that...
KMC : In Portugal.
GMC : Errm… I think we’ve got to balance two things. One is that – and this applies to any missing children, particularly in this day and age – that if the child is not found quickly, there’s nothing to stop that child being taken across borders. (4  So, the… the problem that we’re balancing on one hand is, errr… Madeleine could be anywhere. (5) And then you’ve got the… you know, the police and the investigative side saying, ‘Well, you know, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got all the information that’s available from the local area, errr… because…’, you’ll say it in different ways, ‘someone knows’. It’s whether they know that they know the answer. Errr… and it could be, you know… it is like Arthur said, there’s a jigsaw; there’s quite a bit of the pieces are in place but there are huge gaps and we’ve got to try and fill that in.

PS : There’s also though the… the… and we’ve said it so many times to people who have been in here; that… that… they tell their story, errm… and then go away and live whatever tragedy or nightmare they’re living and the rest of the world turns away and gets on with its own lives. Isn’t it that… that… that… as families, you know, this… this is an ongoing, continuing thing for you but the… the people of Praia da Luz have it… it… moved on, haven’t they? And… and… up to the point where photographs are being ripped down, you know, they’ve sort of said, ‘right’, some of them have said, ‘that’s enough, we don’t want to do this anymore’.
GMC : I think, you know, it’s natural that, errr… people – particularly when livelihoods are threatened – that, errr… could perceive this in… in a negative way but, you know, from our point of view, as parents, errr… – same applies to other families – errr… we can’t stop searching and the best thing for everyone is to find Madeleine and who took her. You know, there is an abductor still out there…
KMC : And then it can go away and people can move on, you know.
GMC : …and, you know, and… we don’t want a case where, errr… somebody is at large and is repeatedly taking children, because that… (6) 

PS : But your… your investigation which… which… which, you know, you’ve worked so hard on; I know that you’ve trawled through thousands and thousands and thousands of pieces of… of information; throw… throwing up the photo-fit that we saw for the… for the first time, we were… we were shown the photo-fit, errm… of… of this… this guy that… that, errr… hadn’t really appeared in… in any of the investigations before, so what… what is it that… are you still uncovering failings in the Portuguese police or are you just digging deeper now that… now that they’ve moved on?
GMC : I think what you’ve got to remember, you know, is the Portuguese police, they worked very hard but the massive amount of attention – in many ways quite a bit of information probably wasn’t captured – and you have to look at the processes which were in place. It’s not as simple, errr… as you may portray it; it’s about capturing information and following it up and…
KMC : And eliminating things as well, so...
GMC : …yeah, and, you know… obviously it’s taken us a long time. We want to make sure, you know, literally no stone is left unturned until we find Madeleine and who took her. (7) And we’ll keep working at that and we don’t want to waste resources, duplicate resources. It was very important we knew what was in the file and, you know, we must and will continue to work with the authorities because that… that’s the way we’re most likely to find Madeleine and who took her, so…

PS : What is the relationship like between you and the Portuguese police now?
GMC : To be honest we don’t have much in the way of direct, errr… contact. Obviously we’ve still got, errr… Portuguese lawyers and, errm… and in many ways the system’s very different, errm… We’ve had a good relationship with the Leicestershire police who sent out FLO’s etcetera, errm… and it… you know, things have changed there, and the way they deal with it, and we believe that they’re going to take on the Child Rescue Alert within Portugal as well, so there… there’s been real progress there, so… errr… (8) 

FB : We’ll talk about the Child Rescue Alert in a minute and how it’s going to hopefully work and… and unroll around Europe but I’d like to as well say hello to Natasha and Sharon because… Sharon, this is… this is a long time ago; 1991, that your daughter Katrice…

Natasha and Sharon: 1981
FB : 1981. Yes, I’m sorry, 1981. Your daughter Katrice; you took her to the supermarket on her 2nd birthday; your husband was stationed in Germany with the armed forces, so you were in the NAAFI, I think. Was that right?
Sharon Lee : That’s right, that’s correct, yeah.
FB : Errm… Getting things ready for her birthday party and you’d just left her with her aunt…
SL : Yes.
FB : …at the checkout, while you quickly nipped back to get something else; when you came back you said, ‘where’s Katrice?’ And no one had had seen anything; she’d just gone…
SL : No, she’d just vanished into thin air basically.
FB : And there was nothing at all?
SL : Nothing. Nothing at all.
FB : No leads, no evidence, nothing.
SL : No.
FB : And Natasha, being big-sister to Katrice, you were there that day…
Natasha Lee : I… I stayed at home.
FB : You stayed at home?
NL : Yeah… yeah.
FB : You… but… but what do you remember? As a little girl, what were you, 7?
NL : 7, yeah. I… I sort of remember the morning, you know, mum rushing round trying to get everything ready for her birthday party and sort of saying to mum, you know, ‘What you doing?’; She said, ‘Well, I’m getting ready to go shopping’; ‘Oh well, I don’t wanna go’; ‘Well fine, if you don’t wanna go, you stay here with your uncle Cliff’. And then sort of off they went and the next thing I know is my dad’s opening up the front door and I’m sat playing with my toys on the sofa and he just says, ‘We can’t find Katrice’. And I’m thinking, ‘what d’you mean?’, you know. Because I lose a toy it turns up in a couple of hours, fine. And it wasn’t until we sort of left the flat and walked to the car and my mum is stood outside the car, and she’s just screaming and screaming and screaming, and then it suddenly hits me that that’s really bad; there’s something really, really not right. It’s not a toy, you know, it’s not a couple of hours; this is something really, really bad; something really, really wrong has happened.
FB : And 27-years-ago we weren’t a backward country. People were, you know… around Europe we understood when children went missing that this was a big emergency. What… what happened? What was the search like?
SL : You have to understand when… 27-years-ago, it sounds ridiculous now but things like mobile phones for Joe Public, Internet and, errm… computers, they weren’t an everyday thing like… like they are nowadays, so you had to very much rely on, errm… trying to get the press involved and trying to get it out across Reuters.
PS : It took 6-weeks for the German papers to get involved; it took 6-months for the British newspapers to get involved.
SL : Errm… We… unfortunately, we were also working against the military as well – though my husband was in the army, and they had a massive public relations office that could have worked with us really, and done things for us, the situation we were in.
PS : But the German police also reached the conclusion that she had wandered off and that she had fallen into the river and… and drowned.
SL : My daughter’s case has always been classified by the German police as the fact that my daughter disappeared due to an accident, and that’s how it is to this day.
FB : But they drained the river and there was no sign of her and everybody searched; there was nothing.
NL : They wouldn’t also take into account, at the time, that Katrice was absolutely petrified of water, so there’s no way that a 2-year-old girl, who… who cannot see the river from that NAAFI is gonna go, ‘Ooh, just go to that water and just sort of jump in’, you know, she wouldn’t get in the bath unless she was sat on my dad’s knee in the bath. She was absolutely petrified of water and they wouldn’t listen to us.
SL : Yeah, they’re saying my daughter, errr… managed to push her way through a packed supermarket; out through a door that only opened in [inaudible]; down a corridor; down a slope; past people that were selling raffle tickets; across a packed car park; over a hedge; and into the river.
PS : In both of those… in both of the case that we’ve heard here, errm… there appear to be initial failings from the local police; that things could have been done faster; should have been done faster; the investigations may, or may not, have been compromised. That… that surely from… from your point of view must be exasperating?

Chief Constable Peter Neroud : Yes, I mean, I mean, one of my main jobs is to make sure that we don’t get to the point where both these families have got to, i.e. that we… we get our children back very quickly, errr… because the longer it goes on the more… the more problematic it becomes. Errm… And… and also to make sure we’ve got much, much better working relationships with European colleagues and worldwide colleagues. I’m actually doing that this week, I’ve got… I’ve got Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The States and the European Union together this week to talk about sharing information; not just for this but for wider things.
FB : That’s marvellous but we’ve been talking about it since Madeleine disappeared, this… this search, the Amber Alert adoption from America, all the… that it… why isn’t it… why wasn’t it rolled out 2-years-ago? What’s the problem?
CCPN : Errm… well, one very practical reason is that we didn’t have a national agency; we have now. Errm… the UK’s has a very, errm… very devolved system and we… we’ve not had a single point where you can coordinate; we’ve now got one and we are moving apace and because, I agree with you, it should be there now. We… we’ve got a sys… I mean we have got Amber Alert. If a child went missing today we would be able to trigger Amber Alert. We would get stuff…
FB : How does it work? How… how would it work?
CCPN : I mean, the essence of it is, where the child goes missing, errm… and say that a child goes missing - say up where, errr… up in Leicestershire, I would… I would expect Leicestershire to trigger it to ring us very quickly, errr… we would provide specialist advice, because the first thing to know is: Is this the sort of case you want to trigger it for? Because it’s really important not to cry wolf with, you know, with… because we’ve… as you rightly said in the introduction there are sadly thousands of children who go missing; mostly because they want to, because something’s gone wrong at home – and could be a whole range of things – but a small number because they have been abducted or they… or… or in… in very difficult circumstances and we need to get them back very quickly. (9) 
FB : How quickly can you ascertain that a child has been abducted and not just run off, or gone off in a mood, or…

CCPN : Should be very quick.
FB : …taken by another parent.
CCPN : Yeah, should be very quick. I mean, we… we… a key part of the training for all officers is… is the kind of early risk assessment. I mean, to be honest, as a front… as a front… front line officer, I can still remember that feeling of, ‘This isn’t right. There’s just some… there’s… there’s factors here.
FB : Yep, instincts.

CCPN : …This is not normal behaviour.’ Normally the family will very quickly tell you it is not… this is not expected behaviour…
FB : Yep.
CCPN : …errm… and it’s our job to listen and act as quickly as possible.
FB : And then it… this comes over the radio, the television… does it? The… the missing person?
CCPN : Well, a whole range of things and the… the point that’s been made about now we’ve go the Internet, now we’ve got a whole range of things. We’re exploring some very, very rapid ways… we… we want to be able to get, errm… things like RSS feeds out to mobile phones; we want to get messages…
FB : RSS feeds?

CCPN : Sorry, you… you switch them on all the time; you’re getting your feed of information out to your mobile phone; you log onto the ITV / BBC website etcetera; you get that information about news; we want to develop systems and we’re very close to developing systems where you can do the same thing for something like an Amber Alert; something like a major incident that’s taken place.

PS : Once again, and we discussed this a little bit here that, you know, that cooperation with other forces around Europe should you be unlucky for something like this to happen when you are abroad and also, of course, we can’t… we have to be careful how much we say here but, errr… you are taking action against Detective, errm… Amaral over his book…
GMC : Ex-detective.
PS : Ex-detective. Errm… how do you think that will affect your relationship with the Portuguese people and with the Portuguese police?
GMC : Well, it’s very much that we’re taking action against an individual and we want to make it clear the reason we’re taking that action is because we feel what he’s been saying is very much detrimental to the… to the search and the main, errr… tenet of what he is saying is that Madeleine is dead and if people believe that there can’t be an ongoing search. What we are certain about, from the information we have, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest Madeleine has been seriously harmed and, you know, it’s fundamental; without that evidence, she’s alive and the search is ongoing, so, errr…
KMC : It’s because of the negative effect on the search for Madeleine; that is the prime reason. We need to find Madeleine and we have to have the best chance possible of doing that and we believe what he’s doing is detrimental.
GMC : I want to make it clear the action is against Mr Amaral; it’s not against the Portuguese police or any other authorities; they work very hard, errr… in very difficult circumstances. We know it’s not perfect but we’re not interested in, you know, mistakes; what we’re interested in is looking forward and what can still be done, really. That’s the key thing.
KMC : I think there’s… if you don’t mind, there’s one important thing Peter and, errm… Natasha touched on and I think I appreciate now that families need to be investigated in these cases, and we’ve certainly had that, but it’s vital that the family is listened to. It really is, you know.
PS : We, errr… we thank you very much indeed for coming in today and, errr… the… now we’ve got two different days, haven’t we? We’re… we’re celebrating… celebrating! Commemorating, we’re… we’re publicising the day today and remembering these… these children… these lost children but the International Day is on the 24th, isn’t it?


(1) Gerald MC ne répond pas à la question "la photo vieillie de Madeleine a-t-elle déjà suscité des réactions, a-t-elle apporté quelque chose de positif ?" Il n'a pas non plus en tête les statistiques du NCMEC.
(2) Les MC ont publié tellement de photos de Madeleine de 1 mois à presque 4 ans qu'il est parfois difficile de croire qu'il s'agit de la même petite fille.
(3) Bien que Dave Edgar ait, au terme de son enquête, déclaré que Madeleine devait se trouver dans un rayon de 10 miles autour de PDL, aucune opération ne fut mise sur pied pour quadriller un demi cercle d'un tel diamètre.
(4) Trois heures après le constat de la disparition, la préoccupation des MC était de fermer les frontières, les ports, les aéroports. Quelle est la confirmation statistique de la relation causale suivante "si l'enfant n'est pas trouvé rapidement, rien n'empêche qu'il soit emmené au-delà des frontières" ?
(5) N'est-ce pas le mot magique ? Virtuellement partout, donc réellement quelque part, jamais nulle part.
(6) Si les gens ne cherchent pas Madeleine pour le bien de cette dernière, qu'ils le fassent au moins pour éliminer un ravisseur qui "pourrait courir toujours et prendre des enfants de manière récurrente".
(7) Cette phrase (Nous voulons nous assurer que littéralement rien n'aura été laissé de côté jusqu'à ce que nous trouvions Madeleine et qui l'a prise) n'est guère logique. Pourquoi ne devrait-on trouver Madeleine qu'au bout d'une mission impossible consistant à suivre toutes les pistes imaginables ? Qu'est-ce qui est important, remuer ciel et terre ou découvrir Madeleine ?
(8) Encore une fois Gerald MC esquive la question. On lui demande quels rapports il a avec la police portugaise, un an après le classement de l'affaire et il répond qu'il a des avocats portugais et a eu de bonnes relations avec les policiers du Leicestershire Constabulary venu comme officiers de liaison ! Ignore-t-il que le Portugal, qui alors assurait la présidence tournante de l'UE, a proposé début octobre 2007 la généralisation à tous les États de l'Union du dispositif d'alerte enlèvement entré en vigueur en France en février 2006 ?
(9) C'est bien parce que crier au loup indûment finirait par discréditer l'alerte que celle-ci n'est déclenché que si l'enlèvement est avéré. Elle n'aurait pu l'être dans le cas de Madeleine MC.