The reason for writing this is simple to give an
account of the truth. It has always been
my intention to set down a complete record
Yet publishing the truth is fraught with risks
for our family. It lays us open to more criticism
for a start.
The sacrifice of our privacy has been another
concern. Given the choice, we would prefer to
sink back into anonymity
What tipped the balance in our decision is the
continuing need to
fund the search for Madeleine.
[Tapas Booking] It wasn’t until a year later, when I
was combing through the Portuguese police files,
that I discovered that the note requesting our block
booking was written in a staff message book, which
sat on a desk at the pool reception for most of the
day. This book was by definition accessible to all
staff and, albeit unintentionally, probably to
guests and visitors, too. To my horror, I saw that,
no doubt in all innocence and simply to explain why
she was bending the rules a bit, the
receptionist had added the reason for our request:
we wanted to eat close to our apartments as we were
leaving our young children alone there and
checking on them intermittently.
[On Tuesday 1 May]
During Gerry’s tennis lesson, Madeleine and Ella
came to the adjoining court with their Mini Club for
a mini-tennis session. Jane and I stayed to watch
them. It chokes me remembering how my heart soared
with pride in Madeleine that morning. She was so
happy and obviously enjoying herself. Standing there
listening intently to Cat’s instructions, she
looked so gorgeous in her little T-shirt and shorts,
pink hat, ankle socks and new holiday sandals that I
ran back to our apartment for my camera to record
the occasion. One of my photographs is known
around the world now: a smiling Madeleine clutching
armfuls of tennis balls. At the end of their
session, the children had been asked to run around
the court and pick up as many balls as they could.
Madeleine had done really well and was very pleased
with herself. Gerry loves that picture.
[Mrs Fenn] Then a lady appeared on a balcony – I’m
fairly certain this was about 11pm, before the
police arrived – and, in a plummy voice,
inquired, ‘Can someone tell me what all the noise is
about?’ I explained as clearly as I was
able, given the state I was in, that my little girl
had been stolen from her bed, to which she casually
responded, ‘Oh, I see,’ almost as if she’d just been
told that a can of beans had fallen off a kitchen
shelf. I remember feeling both shocked and angry at
this woefully inadequate and apparently unconcerned
reaction. I recollect that in our outrage,
Fiona and I shouted back something rather short and
to the point.
I also felt a compulsion to run up to the top of the
Rocha Negra. Somehow, inflicting physical pain on
myself seemed to be the only possible way of
escaping my internal pain. The other truly awful
manifestation of what I was feeling was a macabre
slideshow of vivid pictures in my brain that taunted
me relentlessly. I was crying out that I could
see Madeleine lying, cold and mottled, on a big grey
stone slab. Looking back, seeing me like
this must have been terrible for my friends and
relatives, and particularly my parents, but I
couldn’t help myself. And all this needed to come
out. I dread to think what it might have done to me
if it hadn’t.
I asked Gerry apprehensively if he’d had any really
horrible thoughts or visions of Madeleine. He
nodded. Haltingly, I told him about the awful
pictures that scrolled through my head of her body,
her perfect little genitals torn apart.
Although I knew I had to share this burden, just
raising the subject out loud to someone else, even
Gerry, was excruciating. Admitting the existence of
these images somehow confirmed them as a real
possibility, and with that confirmation came renewed
waves of fear.
When I heard that my mum had got wind of the Tal e
Qual story and the rumours it had prompted, I phoned
her. She was so distraught she could hardly get a
word out. I texted DCS Bob Small,
saying how disappointed I was that the police were
claiming Madeleine was dead, without any evidence,
and how unsupported we had felt recently.
As our main liaison with the British police, Bob was
not privy to the investigation details. This was for
our protection, he told us, as sharing knowledge we
would otherwise not have had could potentially
compromise us. In the light of the volume of
information being released into the public domain by
police sources via the media, this seems farcical
now. It did emerge, however, that Bob had concerns
of his own. He explained that the British
police regarded the use of sniffer dogs as
intelligence rather than evidence, and he
was perplexed at the apparent fixation of the PJ on
the idea that Madeleine had died in the apartment.
He told Gerry he thought they’d get a shock
when the forensic results came back.
The next day Gerry rang Ken Jones, head of
ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers. He,
too, was beginning to despair of the investigation
and the way it was being handled.
It was good to know we weren’t alone, and that we
weren’t going totally mad, but why wouldn’t anyone
speak out about this? Many people in top positions
were saying the right things to us privately but it
seemed nobody could – or would – do anything about
it. If someone had stood up and said, ‘Stop! This is
all wrong!’ things could have been very different.
Page 250: [Ricardo Paiva] Each time a dog
gave a signal, Ricardo would pause the video and
inform me that blood had been found in this site and
that the DNA from the sample matched Madeleine’s. He
would stare at me intently and ask me to explain
this. These were the only times I didn’t respond
with a ‘No comment.’ Instead I said I couldn’t
explain it, but neither could he. I remember feeling
such disdain for Ricardo at this point. What was he
doing? I thought. Just following orders? Under my
breath, I found myself whispering,‘Fucking
tosser, fucking tosser.’ This quiet chant
somehow kept me strong, kept me in control. This man
did not deserve my respect. ‘Fucking tosser .
Page 273: On the night Madeleine was taken,
you may remember, Gerry and I had been very
concerned that Sean and Amelie had hardly moved in
their cots, let alone woken up, despite the
commotion in the apartment. Since Madeleine was
snatched apparently without making a sound, we had
always suspected that all three children might
have been sedated by the abductor. We
mentioned this to the police that night and several
more times in the following weeks, but no testing of
urine, blood or hair, which could have revealed the
presence of drugs, had ever been done.
Page 275:After Madeleine was taken from
us, my sexual desire plummeted to zero. Our
sex life is not something I would normally be
inclined to share and yet it is such an integral
part of most marriages that it doesn’t feel right
not to acknowledge this. I’m sure other couples who
have been through traumatic experiences will have
suffered similarly and perhaps it will reassure them
to know that they are not alone. To those fortunate
enough not to have encountered such heartache, I
hope it gives an insight into just how deep the
Apart from our general state of shock and distress,
and the fact that I couldn’t concentrate on anything
but Madeleine, there were two continuing reasons for
this, I believe. The first was my inability to
permit myself any pleasure, whether it was
Page 276:book or making love with my
husband. The second stemmed from the
revulsion stirred up by my fear that Madeleine had
suffered the worst fate we could imagine: falling
into the hands of a paedophile. When she was first
stolen, paedophiles were all we could think about,
and it made us sick, ate away at us.
The idea of a monster like this touching my
daughter, stroking her, defiling her perfect little
just killed me, over and over again. It didn’t make
any difference that this might not be the
explanation for Madeleine’s abduction (and, please
God, it isn’t); the fact that it was a possibility
was enough to prevent me from shutting it out of my
mind. Tortured as I was by these nauseating images,
it’s probably not surprising that even the thought
of sex repulsed me.
I would lie in bed, hating the person who had done
this to us; the person who had taken away our little
girl and terrified her; the person who had caused
these additional problems for me and the man I
loved. I hated him. I wanted to kill him. I wanted
to inflict the maximum pain possible on him for
heaping all this misery on my family. I was angry
and bitter and I wanted it all to go away. I wanted
my old life back.
I worried about Gerry and me. I worried that if I
couldn’t get our sex life back on track our whole
relationship would break down.
I know there is more to a relationship than sex, but
it is still an important element. It was vital that
we stayed together and stayed strong for our family.
Gerry was incredibly understanding and supportive.
He never made me feel guilty, he never pushed me and
he never got sulky. In fact, sometimes he would
apologize to me . Invariably, he would put a big,
reassuring arm around me and tell me that he loved
me and not to worry.
[cr-letter] We have taken action against one
or two websites, but it had proved
almost impossible to get stuff removed from
some of them, particularly those hosted in the USA.
Friends flag up some of the worst offenders
for us, but in the end it comes down to
picking your battles.
Page 321: We were pleasantly surprised by the
prosecutor’s conclusions and by how emphatic he was
about the lack of any evidence to suggest either
that Madeleine was dead or that we were involved in
her disappearance. For several months we’d been
concerned that if the case was closed, it
might be closed in a way that left a dark cloud of
suspicion hanging over us, so this came as a big
relief. Initially, though, I was a little
sceptical as to how much use the PJ’s files were
likely to be to us, bearing in mind that latterly,
at least, the principal focus of their inquiry
seemed to have been Gerry and me.
Amaral’s appeal was heard in December in Lisbon,
over five days that ended up being spread over three
consecutive months. Gerry and I felt it was
important, essential even, for us to attend to
represent Madeleine. She needed somebody there for
her. She was the victim in this, not Gonçalo Amaral.
I also needed to see the whites of Sr Amaral’s
eyes. We flew out to Portugal on 10
Not sure how I feel about seeing Mr Amaral – for the
first time ever, I hasten to add! I know I’m not
scared but that man has caused us so much upset and
anger because of how he has treated my beautiful
Madeleine and the search to find her. He
deserves to be miserable and feel fear.