Gerry’s Blogs (Days 1-58) May/Jun 2007

Madeleine goes missing and the McCann’s travel to Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam and Morocco to publicise her disappearance. Gerry travels to London alone and has his wallet stolen.
 
Note: Around the period 07 June 2007 to 12 June 2007 Gerry appears to have got very confused as to which date and day he was writing. The blogs are presented here on the days to which they relate, with a note to highlight the incorrect labelling from Gerry.
 
Screenshots of the original blogs can be viewed here

Gerry’s complete blogs for May/June 2007
May/June 2007 (Days 1-58)
May 2007
Date
Day
Blog
04 May 2007
01
*
05 May 07
02
*
06 May 07
03
The website www.bringmadeleinehome.com set up in a day
07 May 07
04
*
08 May 07
05
*
09 May 07
06
The website www.bringmadeleinehome.com launched
10 May 07
07
*
11 May 07
08
*
12 May 07
09
Website Update at 10:17AM on 12th of May 2007
 
Latest Update – ITV News
 
Suspects emerge in Madeleine case
 
“I really believe she was British and yes it could have been someone seeking the girl. She looked at cars, she was startled, she hesitated and she looked away”
Anonymous witness

12.01, Sat May 12 2007

 
Evidence is mounting about a female suspect in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
 
A potentially vital witness said that she saw a woman behaving suspiciously at a crucial place and time on the night Madeleine was abducted from a Portuguese holiday apartment in the Algarve village of Praia Da Luz.
 
The Portuguese woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The woman was about 1’70”, perhaps 1’72”, more or less 50 years of age. She was a little fat, had blonde hair and a centre parting.
 
“I really believe she was British, and yes it could have been someone seeking the girl. She looked at cars, she was startled, she hesitated and she looked away.”
 
But the witness claimed investigators had taken no interest in her sighting and had not shown her any sketches or photo-fits.
 
Meanwhile, police have said they are checking CCTV footage from several locations. A source confirmed that it includes a tape from a service station close to Praia da Luz which shows a young girl with a woman.
 
Madeleine’s father has insisted he will leave “no stone unturned” in the hunt for his daughter as a businessman offered a £1 million reward for her return.
 
Gerry McCann joined by his wife Kate said: “We have now seen at first hand how hard the police are working in the search for Madeleine and their strong desire to find her.
 
“We are doing absolutely everything to assist the police with their investigation and we will leave no stone unturned in the search for our daughter Madeleine.
 
“We are very grateful for all the effort and offers of support that we have had from home and around the world.”
 
Mr McCann added that his family is still “positive” even though the ground hunt for her is being scaled down and there has been no breakthrough in the police investigation more than a week after she was snatched.
 
At St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow, hundreds of well-wishers attended a vigil for the missing toddler.
 
The service was organised by her uncle John McCann who read out an email from Madeleine’s parents to the congregation gathered in the church.
 
The message from Mr and Mrs McCann said: “We remain confident that Madeleine will be found soon and your prayers and efforts will bring this about.”
 
It comes as David Beckham filmed a television appeal for the little girl’s safe return.
 
Stephen Winyard, owner of a Scottish health spa called Stobo Castle, offered a reward of £1 million for information that leads to the return of Madeleine McCann through a British newspaper.
 
It is not the first reward to be offered in the case after a colleague of Madeleine’s mother offered a £100,000 reward for help in finding the toddler.
 
A 200 kilometre (125 mile) square area had been searched, with each area covered more than once by search, rescue and dog teams.
 
Police also issued an image of a pair of pyjamas identical to those which Madeleine had been wearing when she disappeared. Notices around Praia da Luz previously had differing accounts of what she was wearing.

13 May 07
10
*
14 May 07
11
*
15 May 07
12
*
16 May 07
13
The website is relaunched under a new name: www.findmadeleine.com, although this is not officially announced until tomorrow
17 May 07
14
Website Update at 12:41AM on 17th of May 2007
Over 5 Million people have been on the website Today!
Keep Looking!
Warning: This website is Experiencing very high internet traffic
We are working to resolve this issue

Please Wait, we are fixing the server.

Try again at 4pm, meanwhile updates as follows,

Madeleine parents believe she is safe

The parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann said they had taken “tremendous strength” from the “warmth and spiritual outpouring” from all around the world.

Gerry and Kate McCann issued a brief statement from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz 11 days after their little girl disappeared from their hotel room.

The pair said they were “fully supporting” the police investigation into their daughter’s abduction and reaffirmed their belief that their daughter is safe.

Mr McCann said: “Until there is concrete evidence to the contrary, we believe Madeleine is safe and is being looked after”.

Madeleine’s mother also emphasised that the couple had no intention of returning to Britain from Portugal in the immediate future.

A British legal team has flown to Praia da Luz to help them and has launched a special “fighting fund” to help in the hunt for Madeleine.

A statement from the International Family Law Group, the firm instructed by the McCanns, said details of how people could make donations would be released within days.

A QC, Michael Nicholls, has also been instructed by the family as their determined battle to find Madeleine enters another week.

Madeleine’s uncle John McCann, who lives in Glasgow but was in Praia da Luz last week, said the lawyers would play a liaison role and would not interfere with the criminal investigation.

A spokesman for the International Family Law Group said yesterday: “Gerry and Kate are very grateful for all the support and generous offers of help that they are receiving.

“Details of how contributions can be made to help get Madeleine back to the safety of her own family will be made available in the next couple of days.”

The McCanns were among around ten British people who have been re-interviewed by police in recent days to clarify their statements.

This week some of the witnesses are expected to appear in court behind closed doors to record their evidence before they go back to the UK.

The McCanns themselves are not expected to be asked to take part.

The procedure, known as “memory for the future”, means taped statements can be shown during a future trial so the witnesses do not have to return to appear in court.

18 May 07
15
*
19 May 07
16
*
   
Gerry starts his blog
20 May 07
17
Our day starts around 6.30am with us all waking up around the same time. We have breakfast with Sean and Amelie and our close family/friends who are here with us. Then its clean nappies and clothes for Sean and Amelie followed by showers etc for the rest of us.

Usually there’s some free time then for a few stories or games with the twins before heading out.

9.00-9.15 We take Sean and Amelie to Kids’ Club. They really enjoy it and run in. They know the staff well and the staff are all excellent. Both love the domestic corner and Amelie particularly likes to look after ‘babies’. We use the kids club a bit like nursery at home but we think Sean and Amelie still think they are on holiday!

9.30~12.15. We return to the apartments, usually for a series of meetings with our press officer, Mark Warner Reps, occasionally Consulate staff, lawyers and British Liaison officers. During this time we catch up with family and close friends, usually by telephone and discuss ideas how to keep Madeleine’s profile high especially throughout continental Europe.

12.30 Time to pick up Sean and Amelie from Kids’ club then head back to apartment for lunch, which has usually been prepared by one of our family/friends group who have been tremendously supportive.

13.30 –14.30 This is time to spend time playing with the twins either in the apartment or in the play area next to kids club.

14.30-15.00 Usually we take the twins back to Kids’ Club although Sean has had the odd afternoon in the apartment as it’s a bit cooler and he’s not much of a sun worshipper! They have been taking part in many different activities including painting, singing, stories, swimming, trips to the beach and they have lots of toys to play with.

15.00~17.00 We try to get some time together alone, going for a walk to talk things over or getting some exercise. This is often the time for quiet trips to the church for prayers.

17.00-17.30 Meet kids for high tea with other mums and dads. They love pasta and have been doing really well with their vegetables although a few chips have been squeezed in.

17.30-18.30. Games with kids at play area. Amelie loves trying to get in the baby pool!

18.30-19.30 Bath and story time with the twins.

20.00 We put the kids to bed.

20.30-23.00 We try to sit down for a family meal, again usually cooked by one of the small family group out here with us. Chat about the day’s events and plan the next day

23.30 bed and prayer for Madeleine that she will be returned to us safely ASAP.

In addition to above we try to attend various church services during the week, and make multiple phone calls to family and friends. We try to watch the main news early morning and late evening but have had almost no time to read the newspapers or even look at the pictures!

Kate is a keen runner and in the last few days has tried to include a run in the daily routine. Yesterday (Sat) at 7am we ran to the monument at the top of the steep cliff overlooking Praia de Luz. We reached it in 19 minutes.

21 May 07
18
No entry
22 May 07
19
No entry
23 May 07
20
Today Kate and I went to the Shrine at Fatima to pray for Madeleine´s safe return. It was another early start leaving at 6.30am. MarkWarner, who have looked after us so well, laid on a car and driver. We managed to continue the campaign with telephone conversations and e-mails. The actual visit was veryencouraging with the rector and thousands of pilgrims praying for Madeleine as well Kate and I. We lit candles for Madeleine and also 3 for Madeleine’s grandparents. The trip received a lot of publicity which should help maintain the profile of her abduction. We are planning a relatively quiet day tomoorow although the British Ambaasador is coming to visit and we need to start finalising our plans for interviews in areas of Europe where the coverage of Madeleine’s disappaerance has been limited.
24 May 07
21
The blog for yesterday was re-presented today with two small amendments, highlighted in red
 
Today Kate and I went to the Shrine at Fatima to pray for Madeleine´s safe return. It was another early start leaving at 6.30am. Mark Warner, who have looked after us so well, laid on a car and driver. We managed to continue the campaign with telephone conversations and e-mails. The actual visit was very encouraging with the rector and thousands of pilgrims praying for Madeleine as well Kate and I. We lit candles for Madeleine and also 3 for Madeleine’s grandparents. The trip received a lot of publicity which should help maintain the profile of her abduction. We are planning a relatively quiet day tomoorow although the British Ambaasador is coming to visit and we need to start finalising our plans for interviews in areas of Europe where the coverage of Madeleine’s disappaerance has been limited.

25 May 07
22
See below, combined entry for 25/26 May 07
26 May 07
23
Yesterday was relatively quiet although we did meet the British ambassador and the senior British Police Officer who has been working here in Portugal on the case. This was a productive meeting. There was a flurry of activity amongst the media here stating the family was openly critical of the Portuguese policed which was not true. We did our best to dampen this down but a couple of papers carried stories with our ‘frustration’ with the investigation rather than what we said it was frustrating that 3 weeks down the line we still have not got Madeleine back. This would be the case which ever country we were in. Some of you may have noticed that Sean and Amelie did manage to squeeze in a hair cut!

Today was extremely busy and tiring. We met with our press officer Clarence Mitchell, to discuss strategy for the fortcoming interviews. Kate attended a luncheon in aid of International Missing Child day and John, my brother, attended a similar event in London. After this John and Brian Kennedy, Kate’s uncle, who are both directors of Madeleine’s fund appointed an interim fund manager. We are now actively looking for a campaign manager who will be needed once our government press officer disappears.
The interviews were our first for TV and we were happy how they went. We did 10 min interviews for Sky, BBC, ITV, Portuguese TV/radio and one for the press association. A shorter interview with GM TV will be shown on Monday morning along with stuff from our fabulous web team. The interviewers were very kind but did not shirk from asking us some extremely difficult questions. We answered them all and although painful will allow us to move on in our search for Madeleine. Importantly, shortly after our interviews finished the Portuguese Police held a press conference and gave details of man they would like to interview who was seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance. We have not had a transcript of what was said but this is an encouraging development and hopefully will result in further calls to the police with information from people who were in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s abduction. We remain very optimistic that the criminal investigation will lead to Madeleine’s safe return but we need everyone to be alert and vigilant to any suspicious activity.

Tomorrow will be a family day. We are doing a photo-shoot with the twins for the Sunday newspapers in the morning but will involve stuff that we want to do with them anyway. We also need to recharge our batteries after what has been a very busy week.

27 May 07
24
Strange day after all the activity during the week. Kate and I started off with an early morning run to the the top of the nearby cliffs. Sean and Amelie were back in kids club and went swimming again. The rest of us attended mass which was very emotional as a priest from RAF Lossiemouth was visiting and further prayers were said for Madeleine. Father Zee-Manuel has also rigged up a powerpoint display projecting a large photograph of Madeleine on to the wall, which he is very proud of and reminds us of the beautiful little girl we are missing so terribly.

There have been some requests for more information ‘about Madeleine’ and this section will be updated very soon. We will also be releasing a very short video of Madeleine taken at the Airport on the day we left for Portugal, Saturday 28 April. Sean and Amelie went to the beach this afternoon with mummy, auntie Trisha and Anne but daddy stayed in the apartment catching up on campaign e-mails, making calls and liaising with Clarence our press officer. The resort is much busier again as it is half-term and there are definitely less journalists here. Many of them have been here since the beginning and are making this journey with us.

The couple of Sunday articles we read did not cover much of what we talked about and seemed to get some of the other stuff wrong! We stated that Sean and Amelie are sleeping in our room (in separate cots) because of other family staying with us and that we were trying to treat them as normal and not be overprotective. This came out that we were so protective we have to have them sleeping in our bed! These inaccuracies are not important in our search for Madeleine and the next phase is being planned currently.

It looks like our planned trips to other European cities will start off in Rome after we learned today that the Pope has been following Madeleine’s abduction closely. There is a reasonable chance we may get a chance to meet the Pontiff and that he will pray for Madeleine. Such a visit would generate huge publicity regarding the family campaign to find Madeleine and will also give Kate and I a great spiritual lift. It will also raise the awareness of missing and abused children generally. We continue to pray that someone will provide the key information that leads us to Madeleine.

28 May 07
25
Confirmation arrived this evening that we are to attend the Vatican and a service with The Pope. It is likely we will be seated in the front row and may have an opportunity to speak with the Holy Father and ask for prayers for Madeleine. This is a hugely important visit both personally, for Kate and I, but also for the wider campaign to publicise Madeleine’s disappearance. The trip has been facilitated through Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and we will be receiving assistance from the British Embassy whilst in Rome. On this occasion because of the short notice and the relatively early time of the service we have accepted the kind offer of the use of Sir Philip Green’s personal jet, which will help get us home quickly after our Papal visit to see the twins before their bedtime. We will be accompanied by a small group of media who are still with us in Praia da Luz and, as usual all the material will be available to all the British press and broadcasters equally. For all trips we are assessing whether commercial flights can get us to our destination and back to Portugal quickly. This will NOT be a Tour- it is a series of very brief visits with the specific aim of raising awareness and we aim to get back here as quickly as possible.

We have decided that for the majority of trips it will not be practicable, or fair, to take Sean and Amelie with us. They have an established routine which we do not want to disrupt and will be looked after by very close family. Tonight for the first time they have gone to sleep in their own single beds, rather than cots, now that another two of our family have gone home. We were planning to turn their cots at home into beds after our 1 week holiday but obviously this has been delayed with Madeleine’s abduction. We have been in Praia da Luz for over 4 weeks and Sean and Amelie’s development from toddlers to little boy and girl continues. Madeleine will really notice the difference when she sees them!

Some of you may have seen on the news the huge inflatable billboard which has travelled all the way from the West of Scotland to Portugal which will be used near busy roads/motorways to keep Madeleine’s disappearance high profile. We had a brief chat with Chris and Les, who drove almost non-stop from Glasgow to get here. The extraordinary length ordinary people are going to help us is truly overwhelming. We thank everyone for their efforts, no matter how small, and we know this will make a difference in our search for Madeleine.

29 May 07
26
We have been preoccupied with preparation for our audience with the Pope tomoorow morning. This morning was spent acquiring some appropriate dress for the meeting since we had only holiday clothes with us in Portugal. Clarence has been inundated with calls regarding the visit to Rome and done most of the organisation behind the scenes.

It has been very difficult to leave Sean and Amelie but it is only for one nght and we will be back to see them before bedtime tomorrow. Trish and Sandy (Madeleine’s Godparents) who have been with us in Portugal since Day 2 are looking after them and we were surprised to hear they were tucked up in bed by 7.30pm- they must like their new beds!

The flight to Rome passed extremely quickly and some footage was taken for TV. We did a couple of short interviews for the British and Portuguesae press about our feelings regarding the trip. Under normal circumstances we would be extremely excited about meeting the Pope, but as we are here as a result of Madeleine’s abduction the circumstances are very different. We expect to receive a great spiritual lift, especially if we get to speak to the Pontiff personally. After the audience we will be holding a short press conference in the British Embassy to the Vatican to talk about our campaign to publicise Madeleine’s disappearance and of course, our audience with the Pope.

Frncis Campbell, the British ambassador to the Holy See, and his staff picked us at the airport and brought us directly to the Embassy residences near the city centre. We have been made to feel completely at ease and almost as if we are part of a small family here, which has helped ease our tangible nerves, not unsurprising given the importance of tomorrow’s meeting. We are now retiring and will be saying our usual prayers for Madeleine’s safe return

30 May 07
27
Today has gone as well as we could possibly imagine.
We woke around 7.15am and got ourselves ready. There was a lovely continental breakfast prepared but both Kate and I ate very little due to nerves. We left the Embassy just after 9.00am and stopped en route to the Vatican, at Piazza Pia for a photo opportunity with St Peters in the distance. I made a very short statement regarding our forthcoming visit and expressed my gratitude to Francis Campbell, the British Ambassador to the Vatican, and his staff for making us feel as if we were part of their family.

We arrived in plenty of time for the Papal audience and were delighted to find we were seated in the ‘Prima Fila’- the first row. Clarence, Francis and Monsingneur Charlie Burns, a colourful Glaswegian who teaches at the seminary and looks after the Ambassador’s spiritual well being were seated immediately behind us. It was extremely sunny and I have to admit that Kate and I were struggling somewhat with the heat in our dark suits but Francis rescued us with an umbrella and some water and following that some heavy cloud rolled in, cooling us down.

The atmosphere in St Peter’s square was almost carnival like with up to 35,000 people there to see the Pope. He did not disappoint, driving slowly around the crowd in his open jeep, waving cheerfully. We were sombre in contrast given that we were there to ask Benedict to pray for Madeleine, although I am sure others were also there to get blessings for their loved ones. After this the Pontiff took his seat in front of approximately 30 cardinals, bishops and priests. One of the priests, Father Daniel Gallagher from the US, came up to us before the service and said some very kind words; that he was praying and everyone was praying for Madeleine daily.

The service started with a series of addresses from priests representing the various French, German, Italian, English, Spanish and Polish speaking congregations present. Each parish represented was mentioned and various bands, mainly German, played short pieces and a few choirs sang a verse and the large Polish contingent priests seated behind us wearing large yellow scarves tied like ribbons around theirs necks sang 3 or 4! At the end of this preamble the priest stated that the Pope was happy to tell us he was praying for the congregation, our families, our children and those who were suffering. These words seemed so poignant in the light of Madeleine’s abduction and naturally both Kate and I were, naturally, very emotional. The Pope’s actual address seemed to pass in a blur and I am looking forward to reading the actual transcript as I can remember very little of the actual words.

Following the completion of the Papal address in the different languages, Benedict individually greeted the other clergy on the dias. During this period Father Gallagher presented us with a small gift to remind us that he would pray daily for Madeleine and a cardinal also expressed similar sentiments. The Pope took approximately 20 minutes to meet other people in the Prima Fila before reaching us. It felt as if time stood still for a moment when the Pope looked into our faces and there was almost instant recognition and a change in his expression. He said he would pray for us, our family and Madeleine. Kate passed him a photograph of Madeleine and he blessed this and would pray for her safe returning. The meeting was more personal than we could have imagined given the number of people there and will help us sustain our hope and determination to find Madeleine.

The press conference followed shortly afterwards and was very well attended. We will give more details tomorrow as we are very tired following our visit and hope to get an early night before planning our next trip.

31 May 07
28
Press conference in Rome went very well giving us an excellent forum to ask for help in the search for Madeleine. We told people about the website, how to download posters and ask people to print them and take on holiday wherever they are.

We arrived in Madrid late last night and have a series of meetings arranged with government and non government agencies concerned with child welfare. We will also be hosting a press conference again to raise general awareness of Madeleine´s disappearance and ask for the public´s help in our search for Madeleine. We may also do a few very short interviews for US news stations which are widely broadcast in Europe, N.Africa and Asia, particularly in English speaking hotels and other outlets. Will update after meetings.

June 2007
Date
Day
Blog
01 Jun 2007
29
With the help of the British Embassy we had a very busy day. First of all we had a short briefing from the ambassador and her staff. We then had a series of meetings with: multiple non-governmental agencies involved in child welfare, did a TV programme akin to Crimewatch focussing on Madeleine’s disappearance, a press conference which was well attended, a couple of short US news channel interviews with European coverage and finally met with the Spanish Minister for the Interior (Home Secretary equivalent). We left Madrid feeling as if the Spanish were treating Madeleine’s disappearance like one of their own.
Meanwhile in Portugal Phil arrived with thousands of posters in different languages. Most of these have been delivered to the Irish centre at Fatima and more at Lisbon airport. Planning a family day tomorrow. Will weigh up next phase of the search over the weekend.
02 Jun 07
30
Relatively quiet day. Did manage to repsond to some e-mails regarding campaign issues with some excellent ideas coming through. We did visit a local beach with Sean, Amelie and the rest of the family who are here and managed to get a bite to eat. Having a huge number of media reuests in but want these to be very focussed in areas that will have clear benefits in the search for Madeleine. We did do a German TV and newspaper interview which wiil be released tomorrow to incraese awareness ahead of our planned visit to Berlin later this week. Most of the Sunday newspapers will carry some of the interview as a British reporter sat in and asked a few more quetions related to the campaign strategy.
03 Jun 07
31
Was encouraged to learn of the large volume of information which has come through the Leicester incident room following the appeal. Hopefully the Portuguese police will have had a good reponse also and we hope to meet with them in the next couple of days for an update. Chris and Les, who travelled over with the huge inflatable banner which has been positioned near the Spanish border, are heading home today. They were very happy that the director of the Algarve tourist board allowed them to put it up in private property owned by them, with thousands of cars passing every hour and seeing Madeleine’s image and details of her disappearance and reward. Sunday papers have reported our interviews virtually verbatim but vey disappointed that the blog was lifted almost in entirety by one newspaper yesterday after expressly forbidding such an approach! The blog is to keep people visiting the website up to date
with our progress in the campaign to find Madeleine.
04 Jun 07
32
Busier day today with travel arrangements for Berlin and Amsterdam finalised. Leaving tomorrow night and coming back Thurs afternoon. It will be a very busy schedule similar to Madrid. On Thurs night there is a music festival in aid of Madeleine in nearby Lagos which we will be attending. Tonigh, we were interviewed for Crimeatch which will be shown on BBC1 tomorrow night. This was a very good opportunity to recap on all the information which is in the public domain and re-emphasise the appeal, especially since the description of a suspect seen carrying a child was released by the Portuguese police after the initial British appeal. As well as some reports from Crimewatch, you may see a picture of me in a green and yellow find Madeleine t-shirt in tomorrow’s paper. The t-shirts were brought over by Phil and later on I thought better about wearing it around the resort she was taken from. I am sure all the people who have chosen to continue their holliday here, rather than take an alternative location, know about Madeleine’s disappearance and don’t need a further reminder.
05 Jun 07
33
Met with the Portuguese Police today. It is good to talk face to face especially with so much speculation in the media. Kates parents arrived today to see the kids and us. We managed to spend a couple of hours with them before heading off for Berlin. I had completely forgotten that it is my birthday today, it is anything but a happy one. However Sean and Amelie made me a birthday card on behalf of them and Madeleine and Trisha made a fruit flan. We sang happy birthday and blew the candles out together which Sean and Amelie really enjoyed. They were really happy to see Grandma and Grandad, whom they are used to seeing every few weeks in England. Kates parents have been a huge help to us, especially since the twins were born, often driving down to Leicestershire for the weekend to help with the kids. This has been really important when I have been on-call at weekends and Kate would have been left looking after the three of them on her own. Trisha would often fly down to help when she had a few days off or when her and Sandy were en route to Cambridge. It makes us feel better knowing that we are leaving Sean and Amelie with very close loved ones whilst we are away on this short trip to appeal for further information and raise awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance. Arrived in Berlin. Another busy programme tomorrow with TV, press, and politicians to see and then straight on to Amsterdam for more of the same. It all helps in the search for Madeleine.
06 Jun 07
34
Today seemed to go very well with huge interest in our search for Madeleine. There has also been a little bit of criticism in the German press about the amount of media coverage but this did not seem to diminish the level of interest. The German interviewers are a little more direct with their questions but I was still surprised by the question as to whether Kate and I may be involved in Madeleine’s abduction! Hopefully our answers removed any doubt on that score and that our sole focus in all of the family campaigning is to get Madeleine back. After the media we met with a couple of politicians in private. Firstly, we saw the deputy justice minister for Germany who gave us reassurances regarding the investigation. Following this we met the Mayor of Berlin who is a very powerful and charismatic politician. He asked us what he could do for us and following this meeting asked German tourists who were in the Algarve around the time of Madeleine’s abduction to come forward. He is very popular and such public backing should help our appeal. We had to delay our onward flight to Amsterdam because of some information received by the police, which we needed to be consulted on. We diverted to the embassy in Berlin but it turned out to be nothing of interest. We unfortunately had to miss 2 TV programmes as we arrived in Amsterdam 3 hours late, very tired and emotionally drained. We did manage to catch up with a few friends briefly who we know from the year we lived in Amsterdam. They have been actively campaigning here on our behalf with poster distribution, contacting media and liasing with companies to get advertising space for large posters of Madeleine.
07 Jun 07
35
Gerry’s original posting showed: Date: 06 June 2007, Day: 35
 
The press conference, meetings and appeal on TV today in Amsterdam all seemed to go well. I doubt there are many people left in Europe who do not know of Madeleine’s disappearance and hopefully everyone who has information will have come forward to the police. Today was particularly difficult for Kate and I because of the year we spent in Amsterdam with Madeleine. We have many friend s still there and could never have imagined coming back without her in such dreadful circumstances. Afterwards we caught with a friend of mine who was attending a medical conference in Amsterdam and a friend who helps run a playgroup that we attended We arrived back in Portugal and managed to spend some time with Sean and Amelie. We then drove to the concert in Lagos in aid of Madeleine, which is the first large public event in Portugal that I know of supporting the campaign. It was interesting mix of jazz, blues, orchestra and rap! We were presented with a painting with green and yellow hands from a class of schoolkids– hands of hope. There was a short speech and Kate thanked tke local community for their support. The amount of media coverage Madeleine’s disappearance has received is phenomenal. After Morocco we will have to take stock and decide on our best strategy. I am not convinced going to other European countries and holding meetings similar to Berlin and Amsterdam will help.

08 Jun 07
36
Quieter day today. This was a good chance to catch up with campaign e-mails and phone calls after the trips to Berlin and Amsterdam. At lunchtime we went to the release of 1000 yellow balloons at the beach carrying cards with Madeleine’s picture on it and information in 5 different languages including arabic. There were similar launches in Manchester and Madrid. The event was organsied by the Sun who, like almost all of the media, have been incredibly supportive. I told Nick, the Sun journalist, that we are happy to support all strategies which increase the chances of finding Madeleine. Later in the afternoon we went down to the beach and had dinner in one of the restaurants which Sean and Amelie really enjoyed. Sean, in particular has acquired a taste for sea-bass! Kate and I did a short interview for BBC East Midlands to thank everyone for their support and it is likely that this will be shown around most of the regions, certainly Northwest and BBC Scotland. Kate and most of the family headed down to the church for the regular Friday night vigil but I was just too shattered. Tommorrow will largely be a family day although I am not sure what we will be doing yet.
09 Jun 07
37
Gerry’s original posting showed: Date: 11 June 2007, Day: 37
 
Kate and I had a slightly busier day on the media front than expected. We did a short press interview for the Irish Sunday papers, mainly to thank the Irish for their fantastic level of support. We followed that with one for the British Sundays which is likely to be the last one we do for a while. We talked about our pain of not having having Madeleine for such a long time and for our need to grieve, which occurs mainly in private. We also talked about how after Morocco we will have to spend some time reflecting both emotionally, and also how best the campaign can be taken forward. What we want to ensure is that the campaign has a psoitive effect on finding Madeleine.

After this we headed down to Sagres which is the very most southwestern tip of Portugal. There is a very nice beach and we had lunch with the family.

After returning from the beach we did the Irish version of Crimewatch-‘Crimecall’. There are a lot of Irish tourists in and around Praia da Luz and although the awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance in Ireland is extremely high, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the appeal and we want the Irish public to come forward with photographs of people who they do not know who were in and around Praia da Luz in the 2 weeks leading up to the 3rd May. The address to upload photographs is: to www.madeleine.ceopupload.com. We have also asked for people to contact their local police if they have seen a man matching the description of the suspect carrying a child seen around the time of Madeleine’s abduction. He is 30-40 years, 1.70-1.80m (5’7”-11”), caucasian and was wearing a dark jacket, beige or mustard coloured trousers with dark shoes. No major news on the investigation front- we still believe it is just a single phone call away.

10 Jun 07
38
We attended mass this morning and the Bishop had sent a very nice message that he and everyone else was praying for Madeleine. He also said that our attitude in this time of adversity was an example for others. Contrary to some of the headlines in the Sunday papers the campaign to find Madeleine will not ease up. Kate’s and my role will be different after Morocco compared to the last 3 weeks. As I said earlier we will reflect on the investigation, what the campaign has achieved and where we will be best directed. We will be less evident in the media, at least for a few days, unless there is a breakthrough in the investigation. First of all we have Morocco. We drove up to Lisbon late this afternoon to catch a flight to Casablanca where embassy officials will meet us. We were surprised to learn that a 20 seat propeller plane was sent instead of the larger aircraft. Luckily Kate, Clarence and I got squeezed on although we were certainly rather apprehensive about flying on such an aircraft- it reminded us of some of the internal flights we took in New Zealand in the mid 90’s. The meeting in Rabat will follow a similar itinerary as to the European visits. We will meet with the ambassador and his staff, two children’s charities, the interior minister and possibly the chief of police. We will do two interviews for the main TV stations and the press conference will be last. I am sure we will be asked about the Marrakech siting which has been extensively reported in the press. I should be able to get some more details of this from ITV, who interviewed the witness, and hopefully the justice minister to find out what enquiries were made by the local police.
11 Jun 07
39

Gerry’s original posting showed: Date: 12 June 2007, Day: 38

We spent the day in Rabat meeting 3 child welfare groups, the minister for interior and the chief of police. We had little knowledge of Morocco before coming here and have learned what a family orientated and child loving society it is. Everyone has been incredibly sympathetic and said they will do everything to help us find Madeleine. As well as the meetings there was a very touching experience outside the National Observatory for Chidren’s Rights. As we pulled up in the car there were about 150 children waving posters of Madeleine with the words above and below a picture of her:

?All Moroccan Children Are With You Madeleine- Madeleine: Back Home?. They were singing and cheering Madeleine’s name and shouting ?coeur?, Heart. This whole experience was uplifting and enlightening at the same time in that we had no concept that so many children in Morocco would know of Madeleine and also be internet- friendly. It is just as likely that a child will spot Madeleine and alert a responsible adult. The whole world really has changed and is a lot smaller in this computer age. If Madeleine is in Morocco we have no doubt that she will be found.

We did a couple of interviews for ITV and Sky and followed up our Newspaper interviews focussing on a change in the phase of the campaign. We confirmed that there will be a period of reflection before we decide on what is the best role for Kate and I. The campaign and the search for Madeleine will continue and with everyone’s help we will find her. So please stay with us.

12 Jun 07
40
Gerry’s original posting showed: Date: 12 June 2007, Day: 39
 
We finished off our trip to Morocco with a private visit to the minister for religious affairs this morning. He is an academic, senior cleric and adviser to the King of Morocco. We explained to him that although we are Roman Catholic we have received messages of support and prayers from all religious groups. Leicester, where we live, is extremely diverse culturally with a large proportion of Muslims and there were prayers for Madeline throughout Leicester on Sunday. We asked the minister if prayers could be said for Madeleine and other missing children in Morocco. He told us that people were praying for her and again emphasised that if Madeleine is in Morocco they would find her. En route to the airport a lorry had overturned blocking the exit from the motorway. The Moroccan people dealt with this in a very calm and relaxed manner, which we have found is a very engaging aspect of their character. Arriving back in Praia da Luz it was great to see Sean and Amelie. I think they were happy to see us although have been very well looked after as usual. We have no more trips planned for the immediate future and will spend the next few days taking stock. Tonight we have also gone to the church for prayers, as it is now 40 days and nights since Madeleine was abducted. No child or parent should have to endure his experience and we prayed that she would be found safe and well.

13 Jun 07
41
Met with Portuguese and British police today to get an update on the investigation. We were reaasured that information continues to come in, and we continue to pray for a breakthrough.

We were extremely disappointed in the publication of the anonymous letter in The Telegraaf (Netherlands) claiming to know where Madeleine is buried. Although all information will be taken seriously, we were very upset that the credibility of this letter had not been examined and, more importantly, published before the Portuguese police had an opportunity to investigate the claim, and search the area if appropriate without massive media attention. We feel strongly that this was an irresponsible piece of journalism and even if it were true is insensitive and cruel.

One can imagine how upsetting it is for Kate and I to hear of such claims through the media and if every piece of information was published like this there would be nothing else in the newspapers.

14 Jun 07
42
Six weeks since Madeleine disappeared. We believe Madeleine is alive and I am glad to say that following yesterday’s letter in the Telegraaf (Netherlands) there has been no evidence that Madeliene is in the area indicated although there will be further searches tomorrow.

Kate and I picked up a friend from Faro airport who has been instrumental in helping with the campaign. He has been fantastic, producing the DVD of Madeleine to ‘Don’t you forget about me’ which has been shown at many sporting events and concerts as well as producing the look for maddie logo and various posters. We spent most of the day updating each other and discussing future campaign ideas. We are getting closer to appointing a campaign manager who will handle media liaison and coordinating events to keep Madeleine’s disappearance highly visible.

15 Jun 07
43
The good news today is that the search in response to the letter in the Telegraaf did not find evidence of Madeleine. We still belive that Madeleine is alive. We have made some real progress deciding on campaign strategy. There is a huge amount of goodwill from people who want to help us find Madeleine and we have some concrete offers of support and are trying to finalise details before releasing them. Tomorrow will be a family day.
16 Jun 07
44
Kate and I dropped Jon at the airport this morning and picked up some more friends/family who have come out to see us, but particularly the twins. They were certainly happy to see our visitors! After lunch we headed off to the local zoo. Relatively quiet on the campaign front today as it is a family day. Tomorrow we will announce one or two planned events to keep Madeleines disappearnace high profile.
17 Jun 07
45
The first event of our longer term campaign will be on Friday 22nd June- this will mark the 50th day Madeleine will be missing. We will be launching green and yellow balloons from at least 50 centres worldwide to mark the fact that we are still searching as are other parents of missing children. Countries that are partcipating so far are Argentina, El Salvador, USA, Canada, Ireland, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal (Kate and I in Praia da Luz), Spain, South Africa, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. . Any other countries that wish to partcipate can download information from the website.
18 Jun 07
46
Kate and I got the respone we wanted after speaking to the Portuguese ploice today. We are assured that no criticism of our actions on the night Madeline disappeared was intended.

There has been a good response to our planned balloon release for Madeleine and other missing children on Friday and we are confident that over 50 countries will be represented.

The twins have really enjoyed seeing family who have been visiting us for the last 3 days- it has passed very quickly. Hopefully the next time we see them it will be with Madeleine.

19 Jun 07
47

Flew in to London to for a series of meetings. Helped a passenger on the flight who collapsed. He was ill enough to require a full assessment on arrival and went off to hospital in an ambulance.

Unfortunately shortly after arriving in London I had my wallet stolen which meant I was running late. I did manage to get to all my meetings which ran late into the evening. We had very good discussions regarding sustaining the search for Madeleine long term. The role for Kate and I in the campaign will not be nearly be so public. We have to balance any campaigning in the search for Madeleine with protecting Sean and Amelie and making sure their privacy is protected.

We are exploring the use of new media and using local advertising, particularly in Europe. There will of course be event driven media exposure such as the balloon launch on Friday 22nd. There are several other very good ideas being developed and a few large companies are willing to help us.

20 Jun 07
48
Another busy day of meetings this time in Leicester. No mishaps thankfully.The main meeting was that of Maddeleines fund where we discussed implementing a strategy to maintain our campaign to find Madeleine. It was agreed in principle to appoint a family spokesperson who will act, not just for Kate and I, but also on behalf of the extended family who have been liasing with the media. This appointment will take a lot of strain off family members who have been putting in such massive efforts to help find Madeleine.

We are delighted with the response to the 50th day balloon launch which will truly be a global event. There will be a few variations to the release of balloons however. In Ventura, Southern California, 50 white doves will be released and in Afghanistan kite racing, an activity banned under the Taliban, will be the order of the day.

Arrived back in Praia da Luz this evening and it was great to see Kate and the Kids, even though I was only away for a day and a half.

21 Jun 07
49
Met with the Portuguese police today for an update. Their committemnt to find Madeleine matches ours and we all hope for that vital breakthrough every day.

We have literally received thousands of letters, cards and messages of support here in Portugal which have helped give us strength during this terrible time. Yesterday we received a particularly touching gift which is entitled Madeleines Book of Hope made up with comments from children of all ages from 3 different schools including a pre-school. The messages in different coloured pages with green and yellow ribbons had both the power to us cry and laugh!

The response to the balloon launch to mark 50 days that Madeleine has been missing has been incredible. There are close to 300 centres, and countries all over the world, participating. There has been a lot of local media interest but remember to take digital photographs and videos if possible which will be able to be uploaded to the website so we can display them. The message of Madeleines disappearance will reach many more people tomorrow.

A pleasing aspect of the launch will be the highlighting of other missing or abducted children, many of whom will have recieved little public attention. I know that 7 year old Yeremi Vargas will be remembered in Madrid and his family will be releasing balloons from Gran Canaria where he disappeared in March of this year.

Our campaign to find Madeleine will be associated with other child welfare issues in the future. We are very keen to see more debate on issues that we and other families in similar situations have to face. Child abuse is a taboo subject still in many countries and we must encourage responsible debate around how child abuse can be prevented.

22 Jun 07
50
We never thought it would happen: 50 days without Madeleine. Solidarity the world over has been expressed today with the launch of balloons in every continent to remember Madeleine and other missing children. The event in Praia da Luz had considerable media interest as did many other releases the world over. Sean and Amelie released their balloons shortly after kate and I let go our 50 and we were pleased the media respected our wish for the twins not to be photographed any longer. Please send digital images and video of your local event to images@bringmadeleinehome.com

We were not planning to say anything at the launch but there was such a large turnout from Portuguese TV who we have not spoken to for some time that we decided to answer their questions. The beauty of the launch was the local and international dimension with media coverage spreading Madeleines image far and wide.

We have seen the video of the Ullapool (home of the website and my sister Phil) launch, Glasgow and extensive pictures from Amsterdam. We very much look forward to seeing pictures from all the other venues. One of these balloons may just be found by someone who recognises Madeleine and alerts the authorities.

23 Jun 07
51
Relatively quiet day today although we did spend some time planning campaign strategy this morning.

This afternoon friends of ours from Leicester who are holidaying in the Algarve came over to Praia da Luz with their 2 year old son. It was good to see them and the twins certainly enjoyed having an extra play mate round the pool.

24 Jun 07
52

We attended the local church service this morning as usual. After mass we bumped into an old colleague of my brothers who aslo happens to be from Liverpool and had a good chat with her.

There are very little media left in Praia da Luz although there was still one cameraman and photgrapher outside the church. Our requsets to respect our privacy have been folowed, with one or two minor exceptions during the last 52 days. Most of the campaigning will be done behind closed doors from now on and it is essential that Amelie and Sean are allowed to grow up without continually being photographed.

We picked the twins up early from the kids club and had a really nice afternoon with them, playing with some new toys and then down at the pool.

If Madeleine is not found in the next couple of weks we need to move out of the appartment we have been staying in as the family is coming out for a holiday. I have to say the owners have been extremely understanding, as they came to Praia da Luz for a holiday and relocated to another apartment to save us moving again. This degree of flexibility does not exist in the resort in high season. We have managed to look at a few properties to rent in the last couple of days and I think we have found somewhere suitable to live until we return back to the UK with Madeleine.

25 Jun 07
53
Today was largely spent doing some behind the scenes campaigning. We had a meeting about an interesting idea that would help keep Madeleines profile high here in Portugal. Although I hope it comes to fruition, like many of the ideas it requires a lot of planning and cooperation. I will be having another admin day tomorrow working on implementing our campaign events.

We were invited round to some firends for dinner which was great, especially for Sean and Amelie. Finished the night off answering e-mails. Lots of photographs are coming through for Madeleines 50 day balloon launch. Keep them coming and we will get them posted soon.

26 Jun 07
54
Met with the Portuguese and British police for an update on the investigation. We raised the question of what someone should do if they think they see Madeleine. The clear advice is to call the local police as soon as possible or someone working in an official capacity such as hotel staff or tour representative. Please note that the emergency police numbers are variable in each country. The number in Portugal and Spain is 112 but in Germany it is 110 . The number for most countries can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_telephone_number#Europe and for those going on holiday it might be a good idea to enter the number in your mobile phone.

If there is a sighting the police would need as much information as possible. If there is a car involved please remember to record the registration number if possible.

We have met so many well-wishers from Ireland over the last 54 days and have recieived hundreds of letters. On Friday of this week there is a mini-vigil specially for Madeleine at Knock, Irelands holiest shrine, which will be attended by family and friends. The vigil will take place from 8pm-midnight.

27 Jun 07
55
Kate and I would like to emphasise that if anyone who thinks they have information relevant to Madeleine’s abduction, then please pass this on to your local police. It does not help us to receive such information directly- we will only pass it on to the police for it to be considered in context of the overall investigation. If people are unhappy to speak to the police directly information can be given to the international crimestoppers anonymously.
28 Jun 07
56
Busy day- some very good phone calls with important child welfare organsations who we will be working closely with in the future. I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleines disappearance in the long term.

There has been a lot of media publicity over arrests in Spain tonight following information related to the investigation to find Madeleine. This appears to be a clear signal from European police forces that they are treating all information relating to Madeleines disappearance very seriously.

29 Jun 07
57
Early rise this morning dropping off and picking up good friends from the airport. One of our friends from Amsterdam, who has been actively campaigning to publicise Madeleines disappearance, dropped in to see us for a couple of hours since he is on a golfing trip in the Algarve.

Our friends brought back my wallet which had been returned, needless to say minus the Sterling, although all my cards and €30 were still in it! It is good to have my driving license back and one or two other important things.

30 Jun 07
58
Original posting:
 
Day 58 – 30/06/2007
 
Family day spent with Sean, Amelie, our friends and their kids. Attended mass this evening which was conducted in English with prayers for Madeleine.

We have confirmed our new accommodation and will be moving in the next few days. We seem to have acquired a lot more stuff, partucularly the twins with lots of well wishers sending them toys, We will be staying on Portugsl for thr immrdiste future and are determined to come home with Madeleine.

Staying in the Algarve also makes it easier to stay in touch with the Portuguese polce, this is particularly important with the investigation being so active. We have regular meetings and calls to keep abreatst of developmennts.

 
Amended posting later that day:
 
Day 58 – 30/06/2007
 
Family day spent with Sean, Amelie, our friends and their kids. Attended mass this evening which was conducted in English with prayers for Madeleine.

We have confirmed our new accommodation and will be moving in the next few days. We seem to have acquired a lot more stuff, partucularly the twins with lots of well wishers sending them toys. We will be staying on Portugal for the immediate future and are determined to come home with Madeleine.

Staying in the Algarve also makes it easier to stay in touch with the Portuguese polce, this is particularly important with the investigation being so active. We have regular meetings and calls to keep abreast of developments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*