6 Apr, 2024 @ 20:03
4 mins read

COURT SENSATION: ‘Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner told me how he tied up a teenager for four days – and burgled homes on the Algarve while naked!’

MADELEINE Mccann suspect Christian Brueckner bragged to a friend how he tied up and sexually assaulted a young teenager over a ‘four day’ horror ordeal.

Michael Tatschl, 50, told a court how the sadistic sex offender had boasted how he had shackled the troubled teen to a post in his country home just outside Praia da Luz.

He said the German girl – who was ’14 or 15′ – had come from a nearby rehabilitation program and had apparently ‘run away’ when she met the predator.

ARRIVING AT COURT : Michael ‘Micha’ Tatschl said he believes Brueckner snatched Maddie

The Austrian carpenter, who lived for many years in Spain and Portugal, told Braunschweig court how Brueckner had installed a large 10cm iron ring at ‘chest height’ on a post at his small farmhouse lair.

“He had tied this girl for days to the wooden beam and forced her to perform sexual acts,” he recalled. “He eventually let her go.”

He said Brueckner had ‘boasted’ about the attack when the pair had spent eight months in prison together in 2006 for stealing diesel fuel.

CRIME SCENE: The wooden post inside Brueckner’s farmhouse where he allegedly tied the girl

Tatschl, who had been living with him in Portugal at the time, added he was clearly into ‘sado-masochism’ and kept a stash of handcuffs, a balaclava ‘with a small slit’ and a whip. 

“I don’t know anyone with a balaclava like it and there was one long whip, 30-40 cms long with long leather bits,” recalled Tatschl, who had previously lived in Orgiva, near Granada.

He said Brueckner – who is on trial for five other sex offences, including three rapes, committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017 – had also boasted about burgling holiday homes ‘naked’ in the nearby Algarve resort.

“Once he told me he broke in and three teenage girls were sleeping in the living room… And he was naked. One of them woke up when a phone rang and screamed,” Tatschl revealed under oath.

Christian Brueckner

“The girl’s father heard the scream and came, so Christian had to run and jump off a balcony and run away.

“He burgled naked quite a few times because he did not want to leave a trace.”

It was clear he was an exceptionally good burglar, who kept many stolen watches, gold jewelry and ‘hundreds’ of passports in various hiding places in the farmhouse.

One was in a corner in the kitchen, while another was in the beams, where he kept a ‘shoebox’.

He added Brueckner found it easy to climb into two and three storey homes and he particularly liked burgling British tourists as they always had a lot of cash.

He also still believes that Brueckner snatched Madeleine McCann from the Ocean Club resort, in Praia da Luz, in May 2007.

In an interview with the Olive Press in 2020 (on the phone from Orgiva) he said: “I know he did it. He is more than capable of taking a small child.”

When Tatschl was asked in court if he still stands by his belief that he took the British three-year-old to sell to a paedophile network he confirmed: “That was my suspicion because he wanted money.”

At the time he had told this newspaper that he was ‘obsessed with becoming a millionaire’, he spent a lot of time on the ‘dark web’ and had even discussed selling a child to nearby Morocco.

GLARING: Christian Brueckner and his lawyer Friedrich Fulscher staring at the media

Tatschl told Judge Dr Engemann he had later heard about the sick home-made rape videos which showed Brueckner attacking a pensioner and a young girl.

Earlier this week, another former pal Helge Busching, 53, told the court how he was still struggling to forget seeing the videos he and his mate Manfred Seyferth had taken from Brueckner’s home when he and Tatschl were sent to prison in April 2006.

The pair had watched the two videos in which they claimed they saw Brueckner appear, after ransacking his home and taking other items, including a lockpick kit, a gun and Tatschl’s Opel car.

Both recalled in court how Brueckner had taken off a black mask (or balaclava) at the end of one and used two different cameras, one on a tripod, to make the films.

CRIME SCENE: The wooden post inside Brueckner’s farmhouse where he allegedly tied the girl

While the videos have since been misplaced, their claims were backed up by Tatschl this week, who recalled he always had a Sony Hi 8 camera around ‘with a tripod’.

“Manfred told me he was completely shocked about what he saw on the video and considered reporting it to the police,” he said. “But in the end he didn’t dare.”

He said the pair had met in early 2006 and struck up a friendship that was based on a mutual link to petty crime, in particular stealing fuel and solar panels.

He said he hadn’t seen him after they were let out of prison in December as he went back to Austria for Christmas.

The next time he saw Brueckner was in Orgiva at the Dragon Festival in March 2007. He said the paedophile had visited for a few days looking to ‘buy marijuana’ and he might have come in his Jaguar or his VW van.

He had told the Olive Press how he visited fairly regularly to buy and sell drugs and other items. 

And in court, this week, he said the last time he saw him was at the Dragon Festival in 2008 when to his surprise he turned up in ‘this huge American motorhome’.

He had previously questioned how he had managed to earn so much money to buy such an expensive vehicle, which is believed to have cost around 30,000 euros.

Tatschl, often known by his nickname ‘Micha’, told the court that he had an older girlfriend at the time called Marina Flache, who will soon give evidence in the trial.

He had first met Brueckner on the Algarve with Manfred Seyferth, when they sold him 50 litres of fuel from their van that had broken down.

LAIR: The Praia da Luz farmhouse where Tatschl and Brueckner lived

He also revealed that he had given his ‘last 300 euros’ to Brueckner to pay for a lawyer to ensure that he didn’t have to give the address of his rented home, when they were put in prison.

“Brueckner was really scared that the police would go to his house and find the stashes. So I agreed to help.”

He also recalled how his girlfriend, Flache, and another friend, Christian Post, came to the prison a few times and it was they who had helped clear out his house and hide any incriminating evidence.

“In custody you have a lot of time to talk and he told me a lot of things. In particular, he didn’t care if people were sleeping or not (when he burgled).”

The trial continues next week.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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