Today, 4/2/2019, Dr. Oz looks at the unsolved mystery of missing Madeleine McCann. Investigative journalist Diane Diamond shares why the 12-year-old disappearance still captivates so many people, and she reveals details about the family’s Portugal vacation. Could the parents be involved with the crime?
Madeleine was just 3 years old when she disappeared while on vacation from her family. Her disappearance was covered all over the world; yet, 12 years later, there’s still no trace of her. Today, Oz investigates what really could have happened to her, who took her, and could she still be alive?
Investigative journalist, Diane Diamond says thousands of children go missing every day. Why did this particular case demand so much attention? Diamond says, “It was so riveting from the beginning. It’s a parents’ worse nightmare. Look at her. Look at her accomplished physician parents who were very religious. Could her parents have done something?”
Oz asks Diamond, “Where were the parents?” Diamond says every night around 7 p.m. the parents put the children to sleep while the parents went to dinner. Every hour, one of the parents would make their rounds to make sure the children were still sleeping.
She and the twins had been left asleep at 8:30 p.m. in the ground-floor apartment, while the McCanns and friends dined in a restaurant 180 ft away. The parents checked on the children throughout the evening, until Madeleine’s mother discovered she was missing at 9:00 p.m. Over the following weeks, particularly after misinterpreting a British DNA analysis, the Portuguese police came to believe that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment and that her parents had covered it up. The McCanns were given arguido (suspect) status in September 2007, which was lifted when Portugal’s attorney general archived the case in July 2008 because of a lack of evidence.
The parents continued the investigation using private detectives until Scotland Yard opened its own inquiry, Operation Grange, in 2011. The senior investigating officer announced that he was treating the disappearance as “a criminal act by a stranger”, most likely a planned abduction or burglary gone wrong. In 2013, Scotland Yard released e-fit images of men they wanted to trace, including one of a man seen carrying a child toward the beach that night. Shortly after this, the Portuguese police reopened their inquiry. Operation Grange was scaled back in 2015, but the remaining detectives continued to pursue a small number of inquiries described in April 2017 as significant.
The disappearance attracted sustained international interest and saturation coverage in the UK reminiscent of the death of Diana in 1997. The McCanns were subjected to intense scrutiny and baseless allegations of involvement in their daughter’s death, particularly in the tabloid press and on Twitter. In 2008 they and their traveling companions received damages and apologies from Express Newspapers, and in 2011 the McCanns testified before the Leveson Inquiry into British press misconduct, lending support to those arguing for tighter press regulation.
US forensics expert Dr. Mark Perlin reckons new techniques could blow the case wide open – but says detectives snubbed his offer to analyze samples for free.
He told Nine’s podcast investigation: “If a lab can produce informative data, even if it is complex and mixed, but they can’t interpret it then you can have tremendous injustice – of guilty people not being convicted, or innocent people staying in prison.
“What is needed is an objective and accurate interpretation that can scientifically resolve the DNA.”
Ref. wikipedia.com, thesun.uk.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via en.wikipedia.org