The Facts versus the Fiction
Kate Healy/McCann launched her book in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2011—4 years and 9 days after Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Simply called “madeleine“, the book is Kate’s account of the events of that fateful day in May 2007 with a potted history of the McCann family and the events of the 4 years since the alleged abduction.
Eagle eyed followers of the Madeleine case have no doubt been dissecting every sentence of the book in the search for yet more clues as to what happened to the tiny 3-year old tot.
Meanwhile, Faked Abduction by Steve Marsden is back on sale after a second edition has recently been printed in the USA.
So how do the two books fare in terms of unraveling the mystery of Madeleine McCann?
To answer this question, it is essential to understand that the Madeleine disappearance revolves around a set of important facts that have not been satisfactorily dealt with by the McCanns and their friends who accompanied them on the holiday to Portugal. The main body of reliable evidence consists of the 11,300+ page, Portuguese police file that was released in August 2008. Additional evidence was provided by the chief investigating officer—Gonçalo Amaral—through his own personal account in his book Maddie: A Verdade Da Mentira (The Truth of the Lie.)
These important facts are the focus of Faked Abduction and are also dealt with by Kate in madeleine. Some of these issues are:
- Mrs Fenn hearing Madeleine crying for 75 minutes on May 1, 2007
- The status of the patio doors
- Madeleine’s whereabouts during the day on May 3, 2007
- The Smith family (nine people) who saw a man looking like Gerry McCann shortly before 10pm on May 3, 2007
- Jane Tanner’s sighting and the associated detail of that account
- The Yvonne Martin encounter on May 4, 2007
- The McCanns did not physically search for Madeleine on the night of May 3, 2007
- The David Payne/Gerry McCann paedophile allegations from the Gaspars
In Kate’s book she was quite disparaging towards Mrs Fenn. Not mentioning her by name, she described the elderly tenant of the flat above apartment 5A as a woman with a “plummy voice“. Kate also admitted that she and Fiona Payne abused Mrs Fenn because of her reaction to the reason for the commotion in apartment 5A on the night of May 3.
Considering that Mrs Fenn’s testimony blows a big hole in the McCanns’ insistence that they checked their children every half hour or less, there is little wonder that Kate was so demeaning in madeleine. The Mrs Fenn issue is dealt with simply in Faked Abduction—there is a full copy of Mrs Fenn’s witness statement to police.
The Patio Doors
Early stories from the McCanns claimed that they entered the apartment through the front door adjacent to the car park and opposite the poolside tapas bar. This alibi subsequently changed when observers noticed that this would have meant the McCann children were all locked inside apartment 5A and therefore would be at risk if a fire broke out inside the apartment. The change in alibi was that the McCanns switched to claiming that they entered the apartment through the patio doors.
This aspect is not without problems and it doesn’t seem to be logical. The patio doors only lock from inside the apartment. On page 45 of madeleine, Kate claims “after the first couple of days we barely used the front door, coming and going through the patio doors and up and down the steps.” Is Kate really suggesting that each time the family left the apartment they left it unlocked with all their possessions inside? Who goes on a holiday and leaves their room or apartment unlocked like that? It makes no sense and this change in the alibi seems to be another part of Kate’s revisionist history.
Madeleine’s Whereabouts on May 3, 2007
The author of Faked Abduction is unconvinced that Madeleine was alive and well all day on May 3, 2007 and there is no cast-iron evidence to prove otherwise. Three weeks after the disappearance, a photograph—the so-called Last Photo—appeared in a blaze of glory to prove that Madeleine was alive in the middle of the afternoon on May 3. However, Faked Abduction provides evidence that the Last Photo was probably faked. Interestingly, on page 65 of madeleine, Kate stated “Fiona told me she’d spotted Ella there but not Madeleine” in reference to Fiona seeing the children from the creche at a beach activity on May 3.
The Smith Sighting
The sighting of a man carrying a small girl through the streets of Praia da Luz just before 10pm on May 3 is an important sighting because it also blows a huge hole in the alibi of Gerry McCann. For newcomers to the Madeleine disappearance, the story goes like this: A family—Martin Smith and eight others—were leaving a bar in Praia da Luz and walking back to their apartment around 9:45pm. They encountered a man hurrying through the streets carrying a small girl and their reaction was that it was a man and his daughter. 4 months later when Martin Smith was watching television back home in Ireland, he noticed Gerry McCann disembarking the Easyjet plane at East Midlands Airport while he carried his sleeping son, Sean. The sight of McCann carrying his son in the exact same way he remembered the man carrying the girl in the streets of Praia da Luz jogged his memory to the extent that he realised the man in the streets was Gerald McCann. This bombshell evidence was kept quiet from the press back in 2007 and until Amaral’s book and the police files were released in 2008, this aspect of the case was publicly unknown.
Faked Abduction discussed the facts about the Smith Sighting whereas madeleine deals with this by claiming it to be another encounter with the same man allegedly seen by Jane Tanner. A casual reader of the case could interpret Kate’s version of the Smith Sighting as being a logical extension of the Tanner Sighting. The reality is that the Smith Sighting always was a sighting of Gerry carrying Madeleine and it is something never addressed by the McCanns.
Jane Tanner’s Sighting
The detail of Jane Tanner’s sighting has changed numerous times and is flawed because of its inconsistency. One detail that has emerged in the past 4 years is that Tanner and fellow holidaymaker Jeremy “Jes” Wilkins claim to have encountered Gerry McCann in the street outside apartment 5A on the same side of the pavement as the apartment. However, McCann claims this 3-way encounter happened on the other side of the street. In madeleine, Kate addresses this but fobs it off by saying “…exactly where they were standing is not crucial” (page 71).
The Yvonne Martin Encounter
On page 86 of madeleine, Kate describes an encounter with British social worker Yvonne Martin on the morning of May 4. Only, she doesn’t mention Ms Martin by name. Again, this is another vital issue in the case that has been dismissed by the McCanns. Ms Martin thought she recognised David Payne from another case back in England and both Payne and Kate Healy refused any assistance from Ms Martin despite her professional credentials in social work. Why did Kate Healy not wish to elaborate on why this helpful lady made her feel uncomfortable? More to the point, why did Kate claim to not know “who she is or what she was really trying to achieve?” Kate has read the police file and she will therefore know who Ms Martin is and why she tried to help. Why did David Payne try to usher this lady away from lending her assistance?
No Searching by the McCanns
It is a well established fact that the McCanns never searched for Madeleine on the night of May 3, 2007. Instead, a small army of fellow holidaymakers and locals were out looking for the missing tot. This aspect is covered in Faked Abduction but in madeleine, Kate is not exactly truthful when, on page 83 she writes “As soon as it was light Gerry and I resumed our search.” The plain fact is that they never searched the previous night so how did they resume a search?
The Gaspar Allegations
On May 16, 2007 Savio and Katherina Gaspar were interviewed by British police in England in connection with concerns they had about Gerry McCann and David Payne. The Gaspars, Paynes and McCanns had all been on a previous holiday together on the Spanish island of Majorca in September 2005. What happened during that holiday caused the Gaspars to approach police with their concerns. Katherina told police when talking about David Payne:
I remember questioning whether looked at my children or the others in a different way. I imagined that he maybe visited Internet sites related to small children. I thought that he may be interested in child pornography on the Internet.
The Gaspar statements (included in Faked Abduction) are absent from madeleine. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, Kate did not want these allegations from their doctor friends, the Gaspars, to be revealed in her book.
Obtaining the Books
Buy madeleine from major bookstores in the UK and online from Amazon (here).
Buy Faked Abduction online from fakedabduction.com (here).