Article by Helen Barklam
THE mother of Madeleine McCann questioned whether investigations into German, Portuguese and Spanish paedophiles had been thorough enough in her book nearly 10 years ago.
It comes as police have identified a German paedophile as a new suspect in the disappearance of Maddie 13 years ago.
Her mother Kate McCann penned Madeleine: Our daughter’s disappearance and the continuing search for her, which was published on the little girl’s eighth birthday in 2011.
She wrote: “Night after night, I read of depraved individuals, British paedophiles, Portuguese paedophile, Spanish, Dutch and German paedophiles, and the horrific crimes they committed.”
Police had reportedly visited known paedophiles in the area at the height of the investigation, looked around their apartments in search of Madeleine and reported ‘no sign of the minor’.
Kate McCann asked whether this was good enough to eliminate these ‘vile characters’ from the investigation.
The mother-of-three also questioned whether Portuguese police had not taken sexual crime against children in the Algarve seriously enough in the run up to Madeleine’s disappearance.
There had been five incidences involving British families who had reported intruders in their children’s rooms while the parents slept.
These families came forward when they thought there could be a link between what happened to them and Madeleine’s disappearance.
Kate McCann recalled crying for hours after reading a letter from one of the mothers.
The final section of the correspondence read: “It is difficult to see with this lack of investigation or interest how a profile of this man can be built up.
“It did not appear to us that there was any great incentive or determination to find the offender and bring him to justice… Furthermore, it could all have been so much worse… indeed this man could go on to do much worse to another child if he is not stopped now.”
Then, in her daily journal, Kate recorded the following thoughts on 27 August 2007, nearly four months after Madeleine’s disappearance.
She said: “A late night. Depressing reading. So many child molesters! Dear God, please don’t let this to have been what’s happened to Madeleine. Please God.”
Madeleine was snatched from her bedroom in the family’s holiday apartment in Praia de Luz on the Algarve on May 3 2007 while her parents were having dinner in a nearby tapas bar.
Jane Tanner, one of the friends the McCanns were dining with had reported a man carrying a child earlier that night.
In May last year, Portuguese police reported interviewing a paedophile in connection with Madeleine’s abduction.
Yesterday, German police revealed that a sex offender already locked up in Germany for rape was now a suspect in the case.
The 43-year-old man had been travelling around the Algarve in a camper van when Madeleine went missing.