So we left Kate at the police station where she was appalled by the fact that no-one had offered her a complimentary head massage, forgetting for a moment that she was in the cop shop and not the fucking hairdressers
The next part covers her interview, with Gerry sitting in, where they both inexplicably forget to mention the drugged twins.
Back at the police station in Portimão, it was gone two o’clock before I was interviewed. As João Carlos led me up the stairs, I inquired whether he had any children. He told me he hadn’t. ‘But don’t worry. We will find your daughter.’ It was exactly what I was yearning to hear.Gone two o'clock, but not the middle of the night. Anyone would think they had been waiting for days
I was taken into a large room containing several desks. Gerry had asked João Carlos if he could be allowed to stay with me while I was questioned because he was extremely worried about my psychological state. I was grateful to João Carlos for agreeing, with the proviso that Gerry remained seated behind me.Something which most certainly would not be permitted here
I appreciate now that this would not be acceptable practice in most police investigations. João Carlos interviewed me, assisted by a young female interpreter. He put his questions in Portuguese, the interpreter relayed them to me in English and then she translated my answers into Portuguese. The interview was neither videoed nor audio-taped. Instead João Carlos tapped my answers, as given to him in Portuguese by the interpreter, into his computer. As you can imagine, it was an incredibly laborious process. My eyes were still continually drawn towards the clock, or my watch, and as the minutes and then the hours ticked by my body became more and more tense.Not exactly the patient sort, is she?
The officer began with how we came to be in Portugal and then concentrated on the point at which I discovered Madeleine was missing. When he asked me if it was the first time I had been to Portugal I said, ‘Yes. Never again!’I honestly find this remark completely bizarre. It is the sort of thing you would say when an airline has lost your luggage, or the accommodation was rubbish.
The interpreter turned to me and said, ‘Mrs McCann, this could have happened anywhere.’ She was right, of course, and I was a bit ashamed of that remark, but in the circumstances it was hardly surprising I felt that way at that moment.How about feeling that you shouldn't have left your kids alone? How about the fact that these nice people were being put to a load of trouble because you wouldn't look after your children properly?
As I recounted how I’d found Madeleine’s bedclothes neatly folded back my voice faltered. Every now and then Gerry would put a hand on my shoulder or give me a reassuring squeeze.And he definitely should not have been allowed to do that either
The interview lasted four long hours.That isn't actually a long time at all. Often statements are far longer
Afterwards, we met Guilhermino Encarnação, the director of the Algarve Polícia Judiciária, based in Faro, who was overseeing the investigation. He told us that somebody would be in touch with us later that night with an update and gave us a telephone number to call if we had any questions. I’m fairly certain this was the number of an officer at Portimão called Tavares de Almeida. In addition, he said, Portimão would be able to get hold of him via his mobile phone at any time if we needed to speak to him.Now, I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like people going out of their way to be helpful. Would our police be handing mobile numbers out to half-witted holidaymakers who had neglected their children? I'm guessing not.
Meanwhile, Fiona, Russell, Rachael and Dianne had been brought to the police station for their interviews, which stretched from late afternoon into the evening.Boo fucking hoo.
It was seven-thirty by the time one of the PJ officers drove us away from the police station.
Angela Morado came with us. Ten or fifteen minutes into our journey, the police officer had a call from his station. He said something to Angela, who explained that he’d been ordered to return us to the police station straight away. He wasn’t allowed to tell us why. Already driving at quite a scary speed, he suddenly swung the car into a U-turn, floored the accelerator and drove us at a life-threatening 120mph plus back towards Portimão. I cannot overstate how terrifying this was. Had Madeleine been found? Please God. Was she alive? Was she dead? Gerry and I clung on to each other for dear life. I was crying hysterically and praying for all I was worth.I bet you were......
Back at the police station we endured at least another ten minutes of tortureMe, myself, I.........
in the waiting area before somebody showed us a photograph, clearly taken from CCTV, of a blonde child with a woman in a petrol-station shop. We weren’t told anything about this, just asked whether the little girl was Madeleine. She wasn’t. And that was that. Again we were sent on our way, utterly devastated.You mean, again you were chauffeured home? Ungrateful cow.
We were completely unprepared for what we found when we drove back into Praia da Luz some time after 8.30pm. The road outside our apartment block was lined with what seemed like hundreds of press and TV crews, five or six deep all the way.Well, that might have had something to do with the fact that you had spent all night phoning the fuckers, Katie.
Although he didn’t say anything to me then, as soon as he saw all this Gerry knew it was likely to lead to a terrible invasion of our privacy at the most difficult time of our lives.Boo fucking hoo. Jesus, this woman is seriously getting on my tits now.......
We’d never been exposed to the glare of the media ourselves, but we were aware to some extent from what had happened to other people how intrusive the press, and in particular the tabloid newspapers, could be.Well, you should have thought of that before you started phoning them, halfwit.
No such implications registered with me at that stage. I was only able to think about anything for a second at a time.Me, myself, I ......
We stepped out of the police car amid clicking, whirring cameras and dazzling lights. To suddenly become the focus of such attention – fiercely acute, and yet at the same time disconnected, impersonal, as if we were some rare species in a zoo – was bewildering, and it certainly increased my already rocketing stress levels.
But in some ways this was just another bizarre scene in a bad dream from which I couldn’t seem to wake myself up.But no-one is helping us. Whaaaaah........
Upstairs our new apartment, 4G, was heaving with people. Among them were my mum, dad and Auntie Norah, who had arrived from the UK. Norah, on a visit from Canada, had been booked to return today but had immediately cancelled her flight home and had come with my parents to support us instead. As we embraced them one by one we found ourselves unable to let go. We were all sobbing. It was so hard seeing each other like this. It was all such a blur I can’t be absolutely certain who else was there that night, but I think I remember John Hill, Emma Knights and Craig Mayhew from Mark Warner, and Ambassador John Buck, British consul Bill Henderson and Angela Morado, who had accompanied us back from Portimão. There were some new faces, too: Liz Dow, the British consul for Lisbon, British Embassy press officer Andy Bowes and Alex Woolfall, a PR crisis-management specialist from Bell Pottinger in the UK, who had been drafted in by Mark Warner, as had a trauma psychologist from the Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) in north Yorkshire, who had now also arrived in Luz.
Mark Warner had arranged for the Ocean Club staff to bring food for us up to the apartment, but I still couldn’t manage anything.You couldn't manage anything, but you did have time to mentally berate the PJ for not knocking up a pan of scouse for you
All I wanted at that moment was to see Sean and Amelie. Emma had been looking after them and had not long before put them into their cots, but I went in to see them anyway. My need to be with them outweighed any concerns about disrupting their sleep.I just, I can't even......
For the first time I noticed the ugly purple, blue and black bruises on the sides of my hands, wrists and forearms. I was shocked. Gerry reminded me of how I’d been banging my clenched fists on the veranda railing and the apartment walls the night before. I could only vaguely remember it.Maybe it's just me, but I find that rather disturbing. Is that really normal behaviour?
In spite of his misgivings about the media, Gerry decided that he wanted to make a statement to them.I bet he was loving every second of it
He knew we had to try to reach anyone who might know something. My stomach knotted at the mere thought of it. I’ve never been one for speaking in front of an audience, and I certainly couldn’t imagine doing so now, when our daughter had just been abducted. Gerry told the people assembled in the apartment what he was intending to do. Nobody objected or advised him against it – but then, there was no one taking overall control of the situation,Another complaint.
other than Alex Woolfall, whose primary role was to act for Mark Warner. So Gerry sat down and drafted a statement on a piece of scrap paper. It took him only a few minutes.Please respect our privacy and come to our daily press calls. If you're really lucky, we'll let you know how this is affecting our sex life.
I accompanied him downstairs. As we left I grabbed Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat. Keeping her beloved toy close was the nearest I could be to her. I was very troubled that she didn’t have Cuddle Cat with her. Just being able to hold something familiar might have given her a crumb of comfort. It was 10pm, it was dark and I found the huge crowd and incessant flashbulbs incredibly intimidating. I was only grateful that at least Gerry was used to public speaking and I wouldn’t have to say anything, though it wasn’t easy for him, either. This was hardly the same as addressing a conference and he was completely traumatized. His voice cracked with emotion as he read out his statement by torchlight.
Words cannot describe the anguish and despair that we are feeling as the parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine.
We request that anyone who may have information relating to Madeleine’s disappearance, no matter how trivial, contact the Portuguese police and help us get her back safely.
Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister.
As everyone can understand how distressing the current situation is, we ask that our privacy is respected to allow us to continue assisting the police in their current investigation.
That was probably because there was no news and they had been working all day
Please God, this appeal would reach somebody who knew something.
I’m not entirely sure how Gerry managed to deliver a statement on that first day, or exactly what made him feel that he must. Obviously he believed that begging the abductor to give Madeleine back, and urging anyone who might have seen or know anything to come forward, could only help. He was also aware that in the UK it would probably be expected of parents in our situation to make some kind of statement or appeal – though that was not, as we would learn, the case in Portugal.
Later that evening, we were visited by the Anglican minister and his wife who were temporarily serving the Church of England community in Luz until the arrival at the weekend of a new minister from Canada. As the Catholic priest was away on retreat, they had come to offer their support to Gerry, me and our family, which we greatly appreciated. They said some prayers with us and I remember the minister reading out the passage in St Mark’s gospel which begins: ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God,’ which took me back to my own childhood.
By midnight we’d had no more word from the police about what, if anything, was happening.
More than twenty-four hours had elapsed since Madeleine had been snatched. The pain, dread and sense of powerlessness were tearing me apart. I rang the telephone number given to me by Guilhermino Encarnação and got through to the PJ at Portimão, although it wasn’t at all clear to whom I was actually speaking. I tried to convey just how traumatic the lack of communication was for us, but I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.So she's been back about two hours and she is already on the phone. bellyaching
I explained that Dr Encarnação had invited us to call at any time if we had any concerns and asked to be put through to him. I was told it wasn’t possible. All I was told was that ‘everything that can be done is being done’. It was a line we were to hear many more times in the next twenty-four hours. How hollow it seems now.I just find this really offensive. The PJ were putting together the biggest search in their history and all this pair could do was moan and whine and complain
Gerry took the phone to see if he would fare any better. He didn’t.Good.
The frustration and anger were reaching boiling point. I felt like a caged, demented animal. This was, without doubt, torture of the cruellest kind.Torture. Her child is supposedly missing, being subjected to god knows what, and she is wittering on about HER torture?
Finally, I erupted. I began to scream, swear and lash out. I kicked an extra bed that had been brought into the apartment and smashed the end right off it. Then came the inevitable tears. Prostrate on the floor, sobbing like a baby, I felt utterly defeated and broken.Or in other words, you threw an almighty tantrum
After making several calls seeking help from Liz Dow, around two in the morning we both went to lie down for a while.What did she expect these people to do? I bet she made their lives hell.
I had not slept in over forty-two hours. I was completely exhausted and my whole body was racked with pain.Oh fuck off, Kate.
But I was unable to lie quietly. I felt very cold and restless. My limbs writhed and jerked continually, as if I were compelled to keep moving them to shake off the agony that held me in its grip. This restlessness was something I was going to get used to in the months to come.What an ungrateful pair of wankers
Still in the dark as to what was being done to help find our daughter – if anything was being done to find her – Gerry and I prayed together and eventually drifted into a brief and fitful sleep.