What happened to Maddy : An Opinion

What happened to Maddy : An Opinion

March 22, 2019 18 By Shan Ellis Williams

Twelve years have gone by since the news that three year old Madeleine McCann disappeared. She would now be fifteen years old, the exact same age as my daughter. I remember at the time hearing the news and hugging my daughter tight. The worst thing for a mother is that a child disappears.

We’ve all had that moment in Tesco, where you’re distracted, and little one runs off. You search and search and finally find them sitting in the £1 Thomas the Tank they put outside to lure the kids. But imagine going on a family holiday. thousands of miles away from home and coming home without a little one.

Netflix : Stirring the pot?

Watching the newly released Netflix Documentary has changed my opinion somewhat. And I’ll explain why. This case tuned us all into armchair detectives. A three year old and year old twins left alone in a room without second thoughts of parental responsibility. It was alleged that the children were sleeping only meters away from a Tapas bar the parents ate at. As a mother of a three year old, I couldn’t imagine leaving her alone whilst I went out to eat and drink wine. I couldn’t even imagine taking her abroad and having a night off with a designated hotel nanny.

I remember at the time that the media went crazy over the story. But they also turned on the McCann family so, so quickly. I empathised with the plight of Kate McCann. She seemed genuine in interviews, clutching Madeleine’s pink bunny. Gerry was colder. Above all I felt, wow these guys are two doctors, maybe not the most emotional of people, but they seem totally robotic. Psychologically and I know this with a few years of trauma experience personally, you do go into autopilot. It must have been surreal. Unfortunately I had very little sympathy with two educated people who had basically left their kids sleeping in a room while they went off on their jollies. Surely in the time JUST AFTER the Soham murders, all parents, everywhere had learnt a very hard lesson?

The Media Turns

The media became heavily involved in her disappearance very quickly. The nature of the story was heartbreaking, and of course people want truth. I remember thinking, why is this story so huge? Something about the disappearance didn’t really sit right with me. I’d seen so many photos of the windows of the apartment, shuttered with a metal shutter on the outside. That remained undamaged, but opened. Someone had to open it.

There were two other sleeping children in the room. To be honest, I don’t think a paedophile ring would discriminate between one three year old and a one year old. So why did the twins remain? And how did two one year olds remain asleep whilst their sister was lifted from her bed? There are millions of conspiracy theories behind her disappearance. Many of them unfathomable.

The amount of media coverage the case got as well, was crazy. It has been well documented that philanthropic businesspeople and politicians wanted to help the McCanns. They were the epitome of a self-made middle class couple, we could all relate, maybe not sympathise, but definitely relate.

It all got a bit ugly very quickly with Kate being put under investigation by the Portugese police. I think the media turned also at this point. The funny thing about having no answers, and being human, is that we always seek our own. With the leaning of the media to blame Kate for her daughters death, without a single piece of solid evidence, and the way she was then portrayed was absolutely disgusting. Just proof of the fickle human psyche.

What happened to Madeleine McCann?

I don’t think we will ever know, as sad as that sounds. I wonder often if she is sitting watching somewhere, not knowing the little girl in the photo is her. Watching this documentary has given all of us armchair detectives more insight, but no more evidence sadly. I think what it gave me was a deeper understanding of the complexities, and politics of the case.

There are always questions, Ben Needham went missing in Kos in 1991 but has remained relatively obscure news in 2017 whilst Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is still talked about. I think people have been to quick to compare the reactions of the Needham parents even the Bulger parents and apply it to the McCanns. Everyone deals with adverse life events in their own way. You can’t just go on your high horse and say ‘oh they must be guilty because they’re not hysterical’.

Personally, I fear Maddy has been dead a very long time. I wish I had the McCanns’ unshakable faith, but my life experience tells me there are some evil people in the world. People, who sadly, don’t empathise or think twice about using a life for personal gain. Neither do I believe that parents would pre-orchestrate a trip away with family to sell, or kill their daughter.

I also like to think, as medical professionals, if an accident happened with Maddy abroad, they would have the sense to try and seek official help. Rather than cover it up. We will never know.

I lost my daughter for a few months in 2016. It was like my world had ended or had a huge gaping hole in the middle of it. I had no answers, many questions, and most importantly as a mum, a little girl, my daughter, my friend, lost to me. I can’t begin to imagine how either of them have lived without a child they fought so hard to conceive through IVF. A child who was adored if you watch home movie footage. It must me the worst kind of purgatory.

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