Just one more question, Ma’am!
The infamous forty eight questions! After the now discredited dog ‘Evidence’ perhaps arguably the most inexhaustible point of discussion among the anti-Madeleines.
“Why did Kate refuse to answer them?”
“She should be made to go back to Portugal to answer those questions!”
“If she was truly innocent she would have answered them!”
And so on and so on ad nauseas. But one comment that I particularly remember, and one that is still oft quoted,
“If it were MY daughter who had disappeared I would answer ANY questions, if I thought they would help find her.” Well people, so would I.
IF I THOUGHT THEY WOULD HELP FIND HER.
But let’s look at that point in reverse for a moment. If you were Kate, and if the investigation actually WERE engaged in actively trying to find Madeleine and apprehend the culprit, what sort of questions would you expect to be asked? Perhaps something along the lines of,
“Did you ever notice anyone suspicious hanging around outside the apartment?”
“When on the beach, did you notice anyone paying undue attention to yourselves, or Madeleine?”
“Did you notice any person, staff or guest, taking pictures of Madeleine?”
“Did Madeleine ever mention any new ‘Friends’ that she had made?”
“Did she ever bring home any ‘Gifts’?”
“Did she ever act nervous or uncomfortable when around a particular person?”
“Did she ever talk about going ‘On a trip’?”
Now THOSE are the sort of questions I would expect, IF the investigation were looking for Madeleine, and if I were Kate, I wouldn’t hesitate to answer. Questions that would help point to a suspect, or help show a means and/or motive. In short, questions that really WOULD help find Madeleine. Instead, what did Kate have to suffer? Questions that clearly showed that the PJ had no further intention of looking for Madeleine, and every intention of implicating Kate in her disappearance. No wonder her savvy solicitor instructed her to remain silent. Let’s look at some of these questions more closely.
“Why did you say from the start that Madeleine had been abducted?”
Seriously, you come into the apartment, your child’s bed is empty and the window, which was closed, is now open. You have searched the whole apartment in a state of ever increasing panic and despair, but your child is missing. What assumption would YOU make? That your child had opened the window by themselves and run away to join the circus?
“Assuming Madeleine had been abducted, why did you leave the twins home alone to go to the ‘Tapas’ and raise the alarm? Because the supposed abductor could still be in the apartment.”
Now, as I have already pointed out, Kate had by now searched the apartment several times over, long enough to find any loitering abductor. This was in her original statement, so why would the PJ assume the possibility of the abductor still being present?
“What was Madeleine’s relationship like with her brother and sister?”
In other words, is it possible that her younger siblings, in a fit of jealousy, conspired together to commit an act of toddlercide?
“Before travelling to Portugal did you make any comment about a foreboding or a bad feeling?”
I mean, come on, premonitions? Forebodings? Bad omens? Is this what we expect of a modern, civilised police enquiry? Did they really expect Kate to blame FATE?
But the following questions should have had NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER even being in this part of the enquiry.
“Is it true that sometimes you despaired with your children’s behaviour and that left you feeling very uneasy?”
“Is it true that in England you even considered handing over Madeleine’s custody to a relative?”
Because these questions are based on the supposed extracts from Kate’s diary, extracts that were shown by the PJ themselves to have been forged by a Portuguese journalist on the orders of his editor. (Note, I am not referring to the extracts from Kate’s genuine diary, that were published much later, without, I may add, her permission.) There was even a rare press report on TV from a PJ spokesman, denouncing these extracts, and confirming that those responsible may face charges for wasting police time. The interviewer knew damn well the questions were, in fact, based on these scurrilous press reports, so why should he then ask the questions anyway?
So, do any of these questions help to actually find Madeleine?
No, and for one very important reason, one that is continually overlooked, forgotten or simply brushed aside by the anti-Madeleines. I have to admit it here, that it annoys me intensely to have to state the obvious, but Kate had just been made an Arguida, a special interest person. In other words, the PJ had by now made it perfectly clear to Kate that they suspected her in the disappearance of her daughter. It also now became crystal clear to her, and so it should now also be clear to everyone else, that because they were concentrating their efforts on Kate, they had by now, to all intents and purposes, given up any attempt at finding a live Madeleine. And if THAT was the case, then it should be clear to all of us that the questions would do NOTHING to help find Madeleine, but could only serve to implicate Kate.
But there was one question that Kate did answer.
“Are you aware that in not answering the questions you are jeopardising the investigation, which seeks to discover what happened to your daughter?”
“Yes, if that’s what the investigation thinks.”
Read that question again, very carefully. You are jeopardising the investigation. NOT you are jeopardising our chances of finding Madeleine, NOT you are jeopardising your chances of seeing your daughter again, but jeopardising the investigation. Which, as we all now know, had given up all pretentions of looking for her.