Chapter 4: The “Window of Opportunity”



The “Window of Opportunity”
for the Abduction of Madeleine Beth McCann


 
In this study we shall assume that what the McCanns
and other witnesses said was correct.

From time to time it is of course necessary to ‘interpret”, as when one witness gives more than one version of an event, or when two or more witnesses give inconsistent testimony. Such points will be identified.



In the early stages of the publicity around the mystery of the disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann it was widely suggested and reported in the Press that the abductor might have had nearly an hour between Gerry McCann’s last visit and Kate’s discovery of Madeleine’s disappearance to prepare for and then to commit the crime. Alternatively that he may have had half that time, after Gerry’s visit but before Matthew Oldfield’s visit, or possibly after Oldfield’s visit and before Kate’s

On subsequent analysis of the main statements, and taking into account the McCann’s very early insistence that Jane Tanner’s sighting was of the abductor with Madeleine, that could no longer be sustained. This fact had been recognised by Gerry McCann as early as 1:00am on 4th May. [1]

The McCanns themselves clearly both accept that the “Window of Opportunity” for an abduction was small. During one interview Kate McCann said - in a high pitched and emotional voice - Yyyeeah, yeah you’re right. It was a very small window of opportunity but they saw it and then *click*!!!!!! Here Kate makes a clicking sound with her tongue and a simultaneous downward chopping motion with her right hand. [2]

On 10th May 2007 Gerry McCann made a statement in which he confirmed this, although at that time he seemed equivocal about the Jane Tanner sighting.

The passage bears repeating in full, for the avoidance of doubt.

“The deponent had had the wrong idea that MATTHEW had seen the bedroom shutters closed when he was there at 21H30, and therefore he thought the disappearance would have taken place between 21h30 and 22h00, but presently he is fully convinced that the abduction took place during the period of time between his check at 21h05 and MATTHEW's visit at 21H30. It was not until about 01h00 on 4 May 2007 that he learned through RUSSELL that his partner, JANE, at around 21h10, saw a man crossing the top of the road with a child in his arms, that may or may not have been his daughter MADELEINE. [3]


Quite how small was that window and the consequences that follow are examined here.

From their Police statements we learn the following :-
• The McCanns left the apartment to go for dinner around 8:30pm [4]

• Gerry McCann left the Tapas restaurant at 9:04 pm, walked back and re-entered the apartment. He did a physical check on the children. He saw all three. [5]
Observation 1 :
From the absence of any further comment in any of his statements it must be assumed that the front door, the patio door, the garden gate and the security gate, and the windows and shutters and curtains in the children’s bedroom, were all in order.
Observation 2 : It takes one minute to walk at a normal speed from the Tapas bar to the small gate at the bottom of the outside stairs. It would take around a further 20 seconds to open the gate, climb the stairs, open the patio doors quietly, enter the apartment and reach the children’s bedroom. [6 ]

• He remained in the apartment for a little time, two or three minutes [7] recording that he stood in the children’s room “and thought to himself, She’s so beautiful.” and took the opportunity to use the bathroom. He then left the apartment through the patio doors, and went down the outside stairs, through the gate and out onto the street. There he met Jeremy (referred to throughout as Jez ) Wilkins. The two men spoke for a short time, estimated at between 3 and 4, or 3 to 5 minutes. [8] [9 ] or “only a few minutes” [10]

• Jane Tanner left the Tapas bar at between 9:05 and 9:10 pm. Significantly she times her own departure at five minutes after Gerry’s [11] She walked past the men whilst they were talking. She reports seeing the two men [12] although the men state they did not see her. [13]

• Immediately after passing the two men Jane Tanner states that she saw a man carrying a child along the road across the top of the street, from left to right. The child was being carried flat, across the forearms, and Jane Tanner saw its feet, which were towards her. She then continued to her own apartment. [14]

• Gerry McCann then returned to the dining table in the Tapas bar. This time is given as between 9:10 and 9:15 pm [15]

Working purely from the statements of Gerry McCann, Jeremy Wilkins, and Jane Tanner, and adding the time as we proceed we can estimate the following -

Gerry McCann left the Tapas bar 9:05 pm
Arrived at gate at bottom of stairs 9:06
Climbed stairs, entered apartment and went to bedroom 9:06.30s
Looked at children and had “proud father” moment 9:07
Used toilet 9:08
Left apartment, closing doors, went down stairs, met Jez Wilkins 9:09
Talked to Jez Wilkins 9:09 - 9:13 pm

Jane Tanner left Tapas bar 9:10 pm
JT arrived bottom of stairs, saw and passed the two men 9:11
JT saw abductor carrying child across top of road 9:11.05s

There is therefore, on their own timings, just two minutes and five seconds for the intruder to get in, seize Madeleine, get out again, and make his way round to the top of the road. To walk from the front door or window of the apartment to the left behind the low wall, then across the car park, then right to the corner of the street takes around 45 seconds, and a further 5 seconds to cross the street. [16]

He has therefore around one minute and twenty seconds to enter, commit the crime, and exit.

This is an important point for the understanding of what happened.

Let it be stated once again.

If the man seen by Jane Tanner was the “abductor’ and was carrying Madeleine, as the McCanns insist, he had available to him the time from Gerry McCann’s leaving the apartment to the sighting by Jane Tanner. And no more.

In this time the intruder has to

• Enter the apartment
• Sedate all three children - in the dark
• Select Madeleine as the victim - in the dark
• Open the shutters and window - if he used the front door to enter
• Pick Madeleine out of her bed - in the dark
• Turn her round so that her head is now to his left, rather than to his right, which is the way he would have approached her in the bed.
• Exit the apartment, either through the opened window and shutters, or through the front door, which he must then close silently behind him.
• Walk to the left along the path in front of the apartment, walk straight ahead across the car park, and then walk to the right along the road, and cross the street in front of Jane Tanner, the father of the very child he had just abducted, and another man who has his own child in a buggy.

Taking into account the travelling time, he has around one minute and twenty seconds in which to achieve the first seven items on the list.

Clearly he could not enter through the patio door within this time frame, since Gerry was standing either at the bottom of the steps, or on the other side of the road, depending whether we follow the statement of Gerry McCann, Jez Wilson, [17] [18] or Jane Tanner. (During the televised “documentary reconstruction” Gerry McCann’s version took precedence, and viewers were treated to the sight of Jane Tanner being reduced to tears as her detailed recollection was publicly destroyed.) [19]

For our purposes this important contradiction is, for the moment, irrelevant.
As Kate has observed, “What may be important is that all three of them were there.” [20]

It is indeed a very important point, as it fixes forever Jane Tanner’s sighting relative to Gerry McCann’s leaving the apartment, in a way which cannot be altered by debate or legal argument.
It could only be altered by admission of error, but Jane Tanner has several times then and since publicly insisted that she was telling the truth. [21] [22]


Possible scenarios.
One scenario is therefore that immediately on Gerry McCann’s leaving the apartment, the intruder entered though the front door by means unknown, or, having forced up the shutters, propped or jammed them in a high position, forced open the window, and climbed in. This is not supported by examination of the operation of the shutters, or the locking mechanism of the windows. No implement to support the shutters was found, and no forensic traces were seen on the window sill, or on the windows.

A second scenario has more recently been put forward to the effect that the intruder may have already been in the apartment as Gerry McCann entered. This would allow him a few more seconds or fractions of a minute in which to complete his crime. And in fact we find that this was raised as a possibility by Dr Gerry McCann himself some time later. [23]

But the apartment is largely open-plan, and this theory leads to some vague stories being suggested about where the intruder might have been secreted. None are persuasive. “Behind the door”, or “in the cupboard,” have been offered. Examination of the photos of the bedroom, and indeed of the entire apartment may lead a researcher to question this. [24]

Gerry McCann recounts seeing all the children, and having the “proud father” moment, and of looking down at Madeleine. In none of his three statements does he report the smell of anaesthetic gas or the presence of any other anaesthetic paraphernalia, and we conclude that this procedure must therefore have been performed after he left.

Kate was initially sure that the children had been sedated. [25]

As the almost infinitely small window of opportunity contracts till further, other possibilities have been put forward.
• The intruder had been watching the apartment [26]
• The intruder had been watching the family and taking notes. This was mentioned two years later in the Vanity Fair interview [27]

It is notable that the more details are provided for this scenario, the more difficult it becomes. Adding the sedation, for example, or the opened window and shutters purely as a “red herring”, as Kate did nearly two years later, [28] cuts down still further the time available to perform the actus reus

Another even more strange possibility put forward by Kate was not only that the intruder had been ‘making notes’, but later still there was even a suggestion that he might have done a preliminary reconnoitre, a “dummy run”, during one of the previous nights.

This is a consequence of the ‘curious incident of the children crying in the night time’, reported at some length and on a number of occasions by Kate. [ 29] [30]

Whether it is remotely credible to think that an intruder would not complete the crime, but would instead choose to repeat the actions on a subsequent evening, when the crying alert given by the children might have been heeded by the parents, is something the critical reader may wish to consider.

I started this piece by attempting to build up a picture of what might have happened during the admitted small window of opportunity.

Gradually, and at each step, the story becomes ever more difficult to follow, and the time available for any action by anyone becomes ever smaller, to the point where one must be permitted to ask if there is anything left which is even remotely possible.

It must surely also be permitted to ask the people who steadfastly proselytise the theory of sedation followed by abduction within the tiny window of opportunity, to give at least some details of how they imagine it might have been carried out.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sherlock Holmes. a.k.a. Sir A Conan Doyle

IMPORTANT OBJECTIONS

There are at least three important objections to what has been written above.

The first objection is that the times given by the various people in their statements were not necessarily accurate. A combination of stress and confusion on the night, and trying to fit the story together within a few hours after the event would have made the times approximate at best.

(In fact one of Clarence Mitchell’s more notorious outright falsehoods was to the effect that none of the group had watches or mobile phones with them, and that therefore the exact times were not to be taken as wholly accurate. [31]
Unfortunately for him he said this nearly a year after the Tapas7 group had drawn up two separate and detailed time lines on the night, and a third mutually agreed amalgamation of both, [32] but also the statements of the Tapas 7, of Gerry McCann “When asked at what time he went to check on the children the night Madeleine disappeared, he recalls that this was around 21:04 according to his watch”, [33], and subsequently Kate McCann in her book by his watch”. [34] , all contradict his assertion.
He backtracked six weeks later. [35] Quite why Mitchell invented, or was asked to tell this particular lie is difficult to understand.)

But the first objection is a valid one, and it is accepted.

It is however entirely irrelevant whether the events described took place exactly between 9:05 pm and 9:15 pm, or five minutes later, or five minutes earlier.

The time is not important. It is the timing, and the statements of the three main people involved which define the “very small window of opportunity”, and that remains unchanged regardless of the exact start or finish time of that window.

To recap, in case this is not understood or fully appreciated



Any abduction, and all ancillary matters necessary for an abduction,
must have been carried out
between the time Gerry McCann left the apartment having seen the children
and the time Jane Tanner passed him and saw the abductor carrying Madeleine

whilst he was talking to Jez Wilkins in the street outside.


And that time is measured in only a very few minutes and seconds.


The second objection is that the timings for climbing the stairs and opening the patio doors, for example, or the 45 seconds allowed for walking from the apartment across the car park and then to the right and across the street might be inaccurate, as they would depend on the individual person’s walking speed.

This is again fully accepted. This objection however is dealing in seconds, or small fractions of a minute. It does not go the heart of the issue, and could not for example get near to doubling the time available for the preparation and execution of the crime.


The third objection is that of considering median times. In other words if it is supposed that Gerry McCann’s talk with Jeremy Wilkins was 5 minutes, and that Jane Tanner passed them at the very end of their conversation, so that Gerry returned to the Tapas bar immediately she had passed, then the total apartment time for the abductor might be extended to nearly four minutes.

This is of course accepted, but it still remains to be explained how the first six items on the list of necessary procedures could be carried out, even in this time, undetected and unremarked by two fathers, speaking quietly together in an almost silent street just yards from the locum delicti.

And we must remember that Jeremy Wilkins had his own child in a buggy, and that it was a cold night. This is attested to by Jane Tanner “it was quite a cold night” “It was actually quite cold”: [36] and by Kate McCann “It was so cold and windy”. [37] The actual length of the conversation between the two men, who profess to be only passing acquaintances and one of whom was returning to his interrupted dinner, must be judged against those facts.


Summary and Comments

All the above is based on the assumption that the witnesses have told the truth.

It is difficult to understand how Madeleine Beth McCann could conceivably have been abducted from the apartment in the time available.

The PJ wished the McCanns and their friends to return and to take part in a reconstruction. All refused.

Gerry McCann and Jane Tanner did return to take part in a documentary, in which a partial reconstruction was to take place. The reality was that this was effectively “directed” by Gerry McCann himself, one of only three persons officially named as a suspect, and no important points were explored or challenged. The issue of the “window of opportunity” seems to have been totally ignored. [38]

The bald statement in the book, “I knew”, then repeated in italic, thus - “I knew”, - falls, with respect, somewhat short of the burden required in a court of law for proof that a most serious crime has been committed [39] [40]



Madeleine Beth Mccann remains missing.

Her whereabouts and her fate are still unknown.







References And Appendices
Important Note

A Many of these references may be accessed on the web site
http:/mccannfiles.com which has a good search engine.
We have tried wherever possible to find and to quote the original source.

B In several cases an original interview was reported by different newspapers.
In some cases there are slight differences in the actual words in the quotes
used, which may be for several reasons. We have tried to attach the correct
reference for the exact wording shown, but there may be instances where a
slight variation can be detected.
It is submitted that the importance is the meaning, rather than the actual
form of words used.

C Some of the original web site references are no longer available, having
been deleted, or archived beyond the reach of a casual researcher. In
those cases we show the original as it was recorded at the time, indicate by
strike through that it is no longer available, and where possible show a web
reference to which the original material and the original reference was
copied and pasted, and where at the time of publication it may still be
viewed.



The Appendices contain the extracts from the statements released by the PJ when the file was archived, from the raw transcript of the rogatory interviews, from Kate McCann’s book and from several other sources. In this way it is intended that this document may stand alone, without the need to search for the original sources.

The numbering follows that of the references above and in the body text

References

1 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann,10th May 2007,
Processos Vol I, pages 891-903
http://mccannfiles.com/id192.html#sta1

2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaYLHtnEr8I&feature=player_embedded

3 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 10th May 2007, op cit.

4 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 4th May 2007,
Processos Vol I, pages 34 - 41
http://mccannfiles.com/id192.html#sta1

Witness statement of Kate Marie Healy, 4th May 2007,
Processos Vol I, pages 58-65
http://mccannfiles.com/id192.html#sta4

5 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 10th May 2007, op. cit.

6 Personal visit and timing. Calculation from available maps

7 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 10th May 2007, op.cit.
Witness statement of Kate Marie Healy, 6th September 2007,
Processos Vol X, pages 2359-2548
http://mccannfiles.com/id192.html#sta5

8 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 10th May 2007, op.cit.

9 Jeremy Wilkins Statement to Leicester Police 7th May 2007
http://www.mccannfiles.com/id327.html

10 “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, Bantam Press, 2011. p. 71

11 Jane Tanner, Statement 4th May 2007
Processos Vol I Pages 42 – 50
http://mccannfiles.com/id261.html#tap2

12 Jane Tanner, Statement 4th May 2007 op.cit.

13 Jeremy Wilkins, Statement to Leicester Police 5 November 2007
op.cit.

14 Panorama documentary, 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann', 19 Nov 2007
http://www.mccannfiles.com/id48.html

15 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 10th of May 2007, op.cit.

16 Personal visit and timing. Calculation from available maps

17 Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 10th of May 2007,op.cit.

18 Jeremy Wilkins Statement to Leicester Police 7th May 2007
Jeremy Wilkins Statement to Leicester Police 5 November 2007
http://www.mccannfiles.com/id327.html

19 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx-ZgNKBM0E&feature=player_embedded

20 “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, ibid. p. 71

21 Inspector Roberto Paiva report
http://themaddiecasefiles.com/post513.html

22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx-ZgNKBM0E&feature=player_embedded

23 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-483026/Madeleines-fathers-chilling-belief-Kidnapper-hiding-flat-I-checked-her.html

24 http://mccannfiles.com/id155.html

25 “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, ibid.. p. 75

26 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaYLHtnEr8I&feature=player_embedded

27 Vanity Fair interview Judy Bachrach, op.cit.

28 http://www.findmadeleine.com/updates/updates@page=1.html
(accessed 12 Dec 2012)

29 “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, ibid. p. 62

30 Interview Sky News, following the Panorama Documentary.
can be found within http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCMNWg0fE5Y

31 The Guardian 06 April 2008

32 http://www.mccannfiles.com/id261.html#tap21

33 Arguido questioning of Gerald Patrick McCann, 7th of September 2007
http://www.mccannfiles.com/id192.html#sta3

34 “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, ibid. p.70

35 Yorkshire Post 29 May 2008

36 Panorama documentary, 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann', ibid

37 “madeleine’, by Kate McCann, ibid. p. 73

38 Panorama documentary, 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann' ibid.

39 “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, ibid.. p. 73

40 http://lawiki.org/lawwiki/Burden_Of_Proof


Appendices

1 The deponent had had the wrong idea that MATTHEW had seen the bedroom shutters closed when he was there at 21H30, and therefore he thought the disappearance would have taken place between 21h30 and 22h00, but presently he is fully convinced that the abduction took place during the period of time between his check at 21h05 and MATTHEW's visit at 21H30. It was not until about 01h00 on 4 May 2007 that he learned through RUSSELL that his partner, JANE, at around 21h10, saw a man crossing the top of the road with a child in his arms, that may or may not have been his daughter MADELEINE.

2 Yyyeeah, yeah you’re right. It was a very small window of opportunity but they saw it and then *click*!!!!!! Here Kate makes a clicking sound with her tongue and a simultaneous downward chopping motion with her right hand.

3 The deponent had had the wrong idea that MATTHEW had seen the bedroom shutters closed when he was there at 21H30, and therefore he thought the disappearance would have taken place between 21h30 and 22h00, but presently he is fully convinced that the abduction took place during the period of time between his check at 21h05 and MATTHEW's visit at 21H30. It was not until about 01h00 on 4 May 2007 that he learned through RUSSELL that his partner, JANE, at around 21h10, saw a man crossing the top of the road with a child in his arms, that may or may not have been his daughter MADELEINE.

4 Yesterday, after the daily routine, MADELEINE and the twins were put to bed in their respective beds, and he stresses put to bed, at 7.30 pm. The deponent and his wife remained in the apartment to relax and drink a glass of wine until 8.30 pm. After checking the children, the deponent and his wife and the adults went to the "Tapas" restaurant, around 50 metres away, where they had dinner together.

Yesterday, after the daily routine, Madeleine and the twins went into the bedroom and were put in their beds at around 7.30. The witness and her husband stayed in the apartment, relaxing, until 8.30pm. She took a bath, did her make-up and drank a glass of New Zealand wine with her husband. Just after 8.30pm, the witness and her husband, after checking on their children, joined the other adults of the group at the "Tapas" restaurant, about 50 metres away, where they had dinner.

5 Therefore, he entered the children's bedroom and established visual contact with each of them, checking and he is certain of this, that the three were deeply asleep.

6 •

7 He adds that he did not enter any other part of the residence, where he was for only two or three minutes,

8 He crossed the road in JEZ's direction who was walking up on the right-hand side, in the ascending direction, both having chatted for 3 to 4 minutes, about tennis, holidays and children.

9 The conversation lasted for about three (3) to five (5) minutes.

10 “The conversation probably lasted only a few minutes . . . “

11 She remembers that at about 21h10 Gerald left the restaurant (3) to go to the apartment to check on the children. Five minutes later, the witness left, to go to her apartment to see whether her daughters were OK.

12 At this moment she saw Gerry talking to an Englishman called Jez whom they had got to know during the holidays.

13 He was adamant that he did not see any one else in the area. When spoken to in reference to Jane Tanner walking by, he again stated that he saw no one. He also stated that he did not see or hear anyone to his right.

14 About the description of the child, she confirmed that it was being carried in his arms, with the legs in her direction and barefoot. She thought that it was a female child because the pyjamas were a light colour (seemingly pink to her). She never saw the hair of the child. She never saw it move nor make any sound, thinking that it was asleep.

15 He then returned to the TAPAS, between 21h10 and 21h15, dinner having gone as normal.

16 •

17 After leaving through the side gate, and while on his way to the secondary reception entrance, less than 10 metres from the gate, he saw “JEZ” walking up the street on the opposite pavement, bringing with him a baby buggy with his youngest child. He crossed the road in JEZ's direction who was walking up on the right-hand side, in the ascending direction,

18 At this time he was walking on the right side of the road passing the Tapas bar area to his left. He noticed the bad street lighting and although it was not completely dark there was enough light to see clearly. As he approached the corner of the McCanns apartment, he saw Gerry appear from the area of the gate. He crossed the road and engaged in general conversation with Gerry

19 •

20 “Either way, exactly where they were standing is not crucial. What maybe important is that al three of them were there.”

21 She swore "by everything most sacred" that what she said is true, namely that she saw an individual with a child in his arms. Confronted, she demonstrated the distance at which the man with the child had passed her, and that was gauged to be about 5 metres.

Confronted with the information that the [tracker] dog teams had followed/followed the scent trails in which, purportedly, Madeleine Beth McCann had not passed the intersection where she indicated a man carried a child, she affirmed, immediately, that she was not lying, maintaining the honesty of her initial version.

22 •

23 Madeleine McCann's parents say they believe that an intruder hid inside their holiday apartment before snatching their daughter from her bed.
Gerry McCann says he is convinced that, when he checked on Madeleine at 9.05pm on the evening she disappeared, the abductor was somewhere inside the ground-floor flat.

24 •

25 “Had Madeleine been given some kind of sedative to keep her quiet ? Had the twins, too?”

26 “I will tell you what I haven’t told anyone,” says Jon Corner, a family friend. “In August, I was with Kate in Portugal. She told me, ‘I wish I could roll back time and go back to the day before Madeleine was abducted. I would slow down time. I would get a really good look around and have a really good think. And I’d think: Where are you? Who are you? Who is secretly watching my family? Because someone was watching my family very, very carefully. And taking notes.’?”

27 ibid.

28 The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'

29 On Thursday 3 May I awoke in the children’s bedroom. I can’t remember who was up first but I know we had all surfaced by about 7.30am. I’m not even sure whether Gerry had actually noticed I’d slept in the other room and I chose not to mention it. At breakfast time, Madeleine had a question for us. ‘Why didn’t you come when Sean and I cried last night?’
We were puzzled. Did she mean when they were having their bath? we asked her. Or just after they’d gone to bed? Children often get a bit fractious around bedtime, though I had no recollection of any tears from either Madeleine or Sean before they settled the previous evening. And it certainly hadn’t been in the early hours, because I’d been in the room with them, even closer than usual.
Madeleine didn’t answer or elaborate. Instead she moved on to some other topic that had popped into her head, apparently unconcerned. She certainly didn’t seem to be at all anxious or upset. Madeleine is bright, articulate and has never been backwards in coming forwards. If something had happened to make her cry, it was pretty unlikely that she wouldn’t tell us about it, assuming she remembered what it was.
Gerry and I were disconcerted. Could Madeleine and Sean have woken up while we were at dinner? If so, it was worrying, obviously, but it didn’t seem very probable. As I’ve said, not only did they rarely stir at all at night, but if they did it was hardly ever, and I mean ever, before the early hours. If they had done so on this occasion, it would mean they’d woken up, cried for a while, calmed themselves down and fallen asleep again – all within the space of half an hour. Or forty-five minutes, if it had been after our last check. Children usually need some soothing back to sleep once they’ve woken, especially if two of them are awake and upset at the same time, and it seemed highly unlikely they’d have gone through all these stages without one of them overlapping with one of our checks. It wasn’t impossible, but it seemed implausible.
Not for a moment did we think there might be some sinister reason for this occurrence, if indeed anything had occurred. If only foresight came as easily to us as hindsight. Within hours, the explanation for this would seem hugely important, and so haunted have I been ever since by Madeleine’s words that morning that I’ve continued to blame myself for not sitting down and making completely certain there was no more information I could draw out of her.
Why hadn’t this rung any alarm bells with me? How did I manage to conclude, subconsciously or otherwise, that if she had woken it was simply a rare aberration with a benign cause: a bad dream, perhaps? If in fact I ever did come to any real conclusion. It was more a case of her question just hanging there quietly, unanswered. This could have been my one chance to prevent what was about to happen, and I blew it. In the infrequent moments when I’m able to be kinder to myself, I can acknowledge, if only temporarily, that there was absolutely nothing to give me any reason for suspicion and that we can all be clever after the event. But it is my belief there was somebody either in or trying to get into the children’s bedroom that night, and that is what disturbed them.

30 “Madeleine made a comment, erm, in passing that, erm, “where were you when I cried” . . .

31 Mitchell said he was not surprised by the inconsistencies in the initial accounts. 'You had nine people in a bar without watches on, without mobile phones, and absolute panic set in when they realised what had happened.”

32 •

33 When asked at what time he went to check on the children the night Madeleine disappeared, he recalls that this was around 21:04 according to his watch.

34 “After ordering his food, Gerry left to so the first check just before 9.05 by his watch.”
35 "It was made out to be the biggest 'conspiracy' since the Diana 'conspiracy,'" says Mitchell. "Some of the group (of friends in the tapas restaurant) had their watches on that night, and others didn't.”

36 Excerpts from transcript:
JT: Well I could see. . . I could tell it was a child, and I could see the feet and... feet and the bottom of the pyjamas, and I just thought that child's not got any shoes on because you could see the feet, and it was quite a cold night in Portugal in May it's not actually that warm, and I'd got a big jumper on, and I can remember thinking oh that parent is not a particularly good parent, they've not wrapped them up.

RB: And could you tell if it was a boy or a girl?

JT: Only because the pyjamas had a pinky aspect to them so you presume a girl. It was actually quite cold.

37 “It was so cold and so windy.”

38 •

39 “I’d done that, and I knew, I knew, that Madeleine had been abducted.”

40 In English criminal law, the burden of Proof generally lies with the prosecution -- it has to prove all the facts that establish the guilt of the accused, except those which are assumed to be obvious (see judicial notice). The standard of proof is, nearly always, beyond reasonable doubt.