Chapter 22 – Final chapter
RIA DE ALVOR, ONE YEAR ON.
A GLANCE AT THE PAST AND CASTING AN EYE TO THE FUTURE.
May 8th 2008, Ababuja restaurant.
For several months now, I have not had the pleasure of spending any time in the company of my friend and colleague, Tavares de Almeida. We decide to grab a bite to eat at Ababuja, one of a number of restaurants on the banks of the Alvor, opposite the fish market. We used to go there from time to time – a year ago – for lunch or dinner with English colleagues who were involved in the investigation. The restaurant is full, the clientele mostly British. Amazingly, we pass unnoticed and manage to enjoy some privacy. At last, a long way from the investigation, we find ourselves alone and appreciating the sunshine on this fine afternoon, its rays reflecting on the calm waters of the river that separates Lagos from Portimão, where the investigation was played out. Although Tavares is pleased to say that the whole affair is behind us, our conversation inevitably goes back to Madeleine’s disappearance: we recall the extraordinary work that was accomplished, the research, searches of properties, interrogations, the expert opinions, analyses carried out with the sole aim of understanding what happened….and the bitterness of having failed to find the little girl.
– Do you remember the conclusions we reached after the McCanns’ interrogations?
– Oh, let it go, it’s over.
– You believe it’s possible to forget? We shouldn’t disregard the past but build on it to move forward.
– Eh, my friend, our Benefica has certainly got a past too, and look what it’s become nowadays.
– In fact, experience has taught them nothing.
– They’ve moved quickly on to other things..
– Exactly, let’s not forget what has happened to that little girl.
– It’s impossible. What I want to erase from my memory is the cruelty committed by certain people.
– To go back to our conclusions, I am convinced that those who would like to refute them would have a hard time doing so.
– That’s certain, since they rest on the facts, the clues and the concrete evidence.
A DISAPPEARANCE, A WINDOW AND A BODY
It is now important to present a summary of this case, based on our deductions: reject what is false, throw out what we can’t show with sufficient certainty and validate that which can be proven.
The theory of abduction was defended from the start by Maddie’s parents.
In their group, only the McCanns state that they saw the bedroom window open. The others cannot confirm it since they arrived at the apartment after the alert was raised.
The only person to have seen that window open with the shutters raised is Amy, one of the play workers from the children’s centre of the Ocean Club. She made that observation at around 10.20/1030pm, which means well after the alert – which doesn’t exclude that the window could have been closed at the time of the criminal act.
The witness statements raise a great number of inaccuracies, inconsistencies and contradictions. Jane Tanner’s witness statement in favour of the theory of abduction is probably false: little by little it has lost all credibility because of successive modifications introduced by Jane, modifications that have ended up invalidating it.
The body, the existence of which has been confirmed by the EVRD and CSI dogs but also by the results of the preliminary laboratory analyses, cannot be found.
The conclusions my team and I have arrived at are the following:
The minor, Madeleine McCann died inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Vila da Luz, on the night of May 3rd 2007;
There was simulation of abduction.
Kate Healy and Gerald McCann were probably involved in the concealment of their daughter’s body.
The death may have occurred as a result of a tragic accident;
The evidence proves the parents’ negligence concerning the care and safety of the children.
The sun is going down over this beautiful countryside. Children are playing under the watchful gaze of their parents. I think about the enthusiasm that was characteristic of him when I met Tavares in November 1981, at the judiciary police school, and which still fires him. The past seems distant, but it’s not forgotten. We gave the best of ourselves to resolve this case. Our conclusions rest on the proven facts and the evidence interpreted within the principles of the law. Our work was done in the cause of justice, based on the material truth, the only thing that must prevail in a universe where the lie is raised up as truth.
Quotes by Gerry McCann
We want a big event to raise awareness that she is still missing, It wouldn’t be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that.
I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleines disappearance in the long term.
We have been advised our behaviour was legally well within the bounds of responsible parenting and have been assured no action will be taken.
One good thing to come out of all of this is that there is so much in the press, nobody knows what is true, and what isn’t.
We are hoping for the best possible outcome for us…. and Madeleine.
If the worst happened…at least she will be in a better place
Quotes by Kate McCann
I know that what happened is not due to the fact of us leaving the children asleep. I know it happened under other circumstances.
I was sure immediately that she didn’t walk out of that room.
Whoever Madeleine’s with she’ll be giving them her tuppence worth.
We’re good parents, not suspects.
It was really just like being in your back garden.
There’s not a day that goes by that I think to myself why did I think that was okay? Was I wrong in thinking that was okay? All I can think to myself is I know how much I love my children, and I know I am a responsible parent.