1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Maddie 129: A Question a Day

Maddie 129

Maddy 129, traces the 129 days between the four-year-old’s disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz to her parents being named as official suspects in the case. It was the first book to be published in Portugal about this case. You can buy the English version of this book at RCP Edições. The Portuguese Version, was first published in November 2007.

Forward by the Authors: No Expectations

If the reader is expecting a work where a public indictment is made or a plot against somebody is schemed, then this is not the right book to buy. When accepting the challenge posed by the editors, we immediately envisaged it only as a journalistic work, easy to read, without any literary, academic, police-related or erudite expectations. It is only the publication, in the form of a book, of a long journalistic work. Whether mediocre or sufficient, it is for the reader to assess, as we do every day with the material published in the media, when we earn our daily bread. Beyond doubt, as in any other journalistic work, nothing can stir us. And it is on doubt that we base our approach. Precisely because today the Maddie case still remains a strange and intricate mystery.

“What is extraordinary”, explains Ben Ando, reporter of the BBC, “is the time this story has been going round”. According to this crime expert, one of the factors which made this case significant worldwide, is the degree of uncertainty that its investigation put forward. The role that the internet played in spreading out Maddie’s images and her family’s to a global scale is another matter that Ben Ando underlines. The physical beauty of the McCann family is, for this journalist, of particular importance. So much so that Maddie has been classified as “tragically beautiful”. Different specialists within the media believe that Maddie’s case meets all the necessary requirements for keeping the public as interested as at the beginning.

It is clear right away that this is “just” about the disappearance of one child among many others, but “a British, beautiful blue-eyed child, who disappeared in a British tourist settlement, in Algarve, a holiday destination regarded as safe by people from her country is a theme that offers a range of media opportunities” says the renowned Brazilian advertising executive Edson Athayde. If they were a poor family, ugly, not white, in a third world country, the case would be already forgotten”. “It is a soap opera story, without a predictable end: there is always new data. The good ones, probably are mean. The mean ones, probably, are victims…they are feuilleton ingredients”, concludes the man who lead António Guterres to the Prime Minister seat.

Yet for University Professor Rui Cádima, when the McCann family became “the best self-advisors of their own, they trespassed the line of being the parents who lost trace of their child to become the advisors of parents who lost trace of their children”. Paulo Moura speaks about a MWCS (“Missing White Child Syndrome”). This journalist states that there is a scale for news importance. “Nobody would ever admit that this scale exists, although it is applied every day”. “In the middle, are the blond and young boys then brunette girls, and so on. Somehow like the scale in force for the number of deaths in catastrophes: an American citizen is worth a hundred Arabs, a thousand Chinese citizens, ten thousand African citizens”.
In fact, the scenario is Portuguese, but the child, her parents, friends, the hotel owners, some of the staff at the Ocean Club resort and even a good portion of the population of Praia da Luz, are not. As well as the retired policemen, private detectives, dogs and forensic tests, alleged to be “vital for the information”.

In the interpretation of Professor and Investigator Cristina Ponte, this case gathers all the necessary elements for a melodrama: a good-looking child, the victim, and a couple
with a fine image. It even has aspects which merge with the unconscious, like the figure of “the bogeyman” – as the man alleged to be seen by a witness, carrying a child wrapped in a blanket. The investigator understands that the campaign held by the parents has an undeniable significance, was very well prepared and included the intervention of football players and going out on the street with the child’s teddy bear…”

In order to understand how the disappearance of a child expanded into unprecedented dimensions, it may be necessary to consider the parent’s attitude and the media campaign around them. However, the connection of the McCann family to the British Government, not yet completely known, as well as the machinery they had at their disposal, could not be disregarded. Besides the four press advisors (one of them, the mythical Alex Woolfall, who managed to “banish” a scandal of genetic manipulation from the British media), Kate McCann’s uncle, Brian Kennedy, has played an important role as the couple’s spokesman.

This whole army of advisors is commanded by Clarence Mitchell, ex-journalist for the BBC and, until recently, Director of the Government’s Media Monitoring Unit at the Cabinet Office of the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Some regard him as a witty man, some as a dandy. Certainly, Clarence Mitchell has defined very well the strategies for approaching the media. Nobody can contact the McCann’s without his permission. Coordinated with the contacts and information he acquired during his time at Downing Street, the rest is easy to deduce. Clarence Mitchell is the true owner of the information - in the broad sense of the word, so maybe because of that he has made so much ink flow - before, during and after the McCann’s leave Portugal. First, he was in Portugal as “appointed” by Gordon Brown’s Cabinet, then he returned to London, but his liaisons with the process remain intimate, in such a way that, after 17th September, as soon as the McCann’s returned to the UK, Clarence Mitchell officially resigned from his job at the British Government in order to assume functions as advisor to the McCann family. On Clarence Mitchell’s return to the scene, TVI’s journalist Hugo Matias gathers, like us, that “it seems to be more gratifying to work for the McCann’s than for the British Government”. Although most of the “success” of Maddie’s case is attributed to the strategies adopted by the media, or to the telegenic features of the couple, one thing is definitely true: the disappearance of any child has never, out of the million and two hundred thousand that vanish every year, obtained the same visibility and air time that this one already has. And we are still halfway through it...

However, in this case as with anybody else, everything started as “just” the disappearance of a child. We can’t see any difference between the disappearance of Maddie and that of any other child. We are sorry for all of them.

This said, we need to make clear to the reader that, as much as we regret it, the solution to the mystery - or at least a hint as to where Madeleine Beth McCann is, will not be found here.

As a matter of fact, in the light of national law, to which all of us are formally bound, solving this puzzle is the responsibility of the police. There are reports by those who some days want to wear the uniform and some other days want to attack the work of those wearing it. There are even reports that those who did it have passed scot-free, but that’s a different kettle of fish.

It is clear that we couldn’t express here all the facts or hypotheses which took place during the period when the parents were in Portugal. In fact, to get at least a reference to all that has been already published would be an enormous effort and is not our aim, especially with the timetable we were given to perform it. In the future, surely, other names, big names in journalism and other areas will do it. This task we now undertake is in a way to help us not to forget certain doubts that in the future will certainly become clear but, as of now, are relevant.

We accepted the challenge posed by Prime Book, Portugal, and Rui Costa Pinto Edições, International rights, - signed with their word -, and not other precisely because these editors accepted our condition that this had to be only a journalistic work, simple and unpretentious. What we write about here is therefore, some of the incoherencies we found throughout these months.

Hernâni Carvalho and Luís Maia

About the Authors

Hernâni Carvalho

He was born in Lisbon, in 1960. Journalist, he was known to the great public through reports he signed from East-Timor and the Afghanistan, works that brought along the recognition of his peers, who granted him the two greater rewards of journalism in Portugal. He is journalist-auditor of National Defense. For the public network, he has produced reports of war in Bosnia, Honduras, Timor, Ghana, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has made a little of everything, from agenda service to great features. He has integrated the teams Ponto por Ponto, 24 Horas, Histórias da Noite and Telejornal, being dedicated to the areas of Defense and Home Administration. He sets out in 2003 to publish news articles in O Independent, Sábado e Correio da Manhã. He returns to the television through the door of SIC, where he signs police chronicles in the morning programs. Later, he accepted an invitation to set up a publishing project in Angola, but he quickly understands to have fallen in a hoax. In early 2007, at the invitation of Jose Eduardo Moniz, he returns to the TV. For TVI, he signs the chronicle Crime, he says, co-operates with the editorial staff and several programs of the network. With a degree in Psychology, he made further studies in the area of Sciences of Religion. He is married and has two children. He owns the professional card of journalist nr. 2371.

Luís Maia

At an age of thirty one, he admits owing to his profession some of the best experiences of his life. Journalist since 1999, he started in the television. From feeling rivers of sweat under the burning heat of the Sahara, to the almost paralysing coldness of the Alps, he has reported a little of everything in the twenty countries where has already been in reporting task. No more than eight years of work were enough to have interviewed so different people as Jorge Sampaio, António Guterres, Claudia Schiffer, Paulo Coelho or Rui Costa, among many others. Disciplined and rigorous, he accepts challenges as a football player in a final. In the British press, he works for the Football Business, the Racing Post and the ALONE Fisher's Travel. Started in RTP, then TVI, has been in the diary 24 Horas, then moved to the morning programs of SIC and returned to TVI, where he is reporter of the program Você na TV! teaming up with Hernâni Carvalho in Crime, Disse Ele. A bachelor, he grew up between Sesimbra and Seixal. Took a degree in Social Communication in the Superior Institute of Social and Policy Sciences. Owns the professional card of journalist nr. 4875.

The Authors in CNN

The doubts and the suspicions still remain after Maddie’s disappearance. And the mystery too. The better way to evaluate ‘Maddie129' is to acknowledge the good and the bad opinions.


November 12, 2007 - Transcripts

John ROBERTS: The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is once again the buzz of Great Britain. A new book is raising new questions about the little girl's disappearance and the stories that her parents and their friends later told police. CNN's Emily Chang is live at our international update desk in London with more. Good morning to you.

Emily CHANG, CNN Correspondent: Good morning, John. This case has aroused so much emotion, rumor and speculation, it is saturating media coverage. Publishers say it was inevitable that books would be written about Madeleine McCann and this will be the first of many.


Emily CHANG, (voice over): For six months her face has haunted headlines around the world. Now the first book about missing Madeleine McCann is making headlines of its own.

LUIS MAIA, CO-AUTHOR, "MADDIE 129": This book is mainly about doubts, about contradictions. Contradictions implicate lives.

Emily CHANG: Meet the authors of "Maddie 129." Two Portuguese journalists who have been covering the case from the beginning. One hundred and twenty-nine, the number of days Madeleine was missing before her parents left Portugal and returned to their home to England after Portugese police named them official suspects in the case. The book raises questions about Kate and Gerry McCann, the friends they dined with the night Madeleine disappeared, and inconsistencies in their stories.

HERNÂNI CARVALHO, CO-AUTHOR, 'MADDIE 129': Speaking with the police, each one of them told different versions about the same fact.

Emily CHANG: Portuguese police say they've sent letters to at least some of the McCann's friends requesting new interviews. The McCann's family spokesperson insists the couple would never do anything to harm Madeleine and blasted the book for suggesting otherwise.

CLARENCE MITCHELL, MCCANN FAMILY SPOKESMAN: We think it's a great shame that anybody may be trying to make some money out of the situation. These books are being rushed out in time for Christmas and I think you can see perhaps the motive for them.

Emily CHANG: Critics say the book offers no groundbreaking theories but merely fuels the constant speculation about the case. What we do know is, six months after her disappearance, no one's been charged and Madeleine's fate remains a mystery.


A Question a Day

The authors present a list of 129 questions, one for each day between Madeleine's disappearance and her parent's return to England.

With sincere thanks and gratitude to Hernâni Carvalho and Luís Maia.

Maddie 129, Prime Books, Nov 2007.

Translated by Debk and Astro

1. What happened to Maddie, after all?

2. Who is "they"? (They've taken her)

3. Taken who? Maddie? Amelie?

4. At what time did Maddie disappear?

5. What did in fact happen during the famous hours that passed between the time at which Maddie was last seen (leaving the creche), and the alarm of her disappearance?

6. What did Kate do while Gerry was playing tennis, before the dinner at Tapas?

7. Who would leave their children sleeping alone, in a foreign country, to go out for dinner?

8. At what time did the children fall asleep?

9. Did David Payne really see Kate putting Maddie to bed at 7pm?

10. What would the Social Services and the Public Ministery have done to a pair of Portuguese parents, who would state on television that they left their children asleep to go out for dinner with friends?

11. What is going to happen to the next Portuguese citizen who will be accused of negligence towards his/her children?

12. Can a foreign citizen, in Portugal, be indifferent to our laws?

13. How often did the parents (or the friends), in fact, check whether the children were asleep?

14. Who was the first person to do the rounds?

15. Why did they first state that they checked on the children every 10 minutes?

16. Why did they later say that one couple, at a time, checked everyone's children?

17. Why did the McCanns state that they could see their children's bedroom from the place they were having dinner at?

18. Why did the McCanns say that the apartment had been broken into?

19. Why do the statements of the people who attended that dinner, include so many contradictions among them?

20. How many bottles of wine were consumed during dinner? Four? Seven? Nine? Fourteen?

21. Who arrived first at the restaurant, after all?

22. Who was last to arrive?

23. Why did Kate leave the twins sleeping alone in the apartment when she ran back to Tapas?

24. Why did Dianne Webster stay seated at the table while everyone else ran off?

25. How could Jane Tanner describe the suspect's clothes in such detail and yet not recognize her friend's daughter?

26. Why did Jeremy Wilkins fail to see both Jane Tanner and the suspect, if he was on the same spot and at the same time as the McCanns' friend?

27. Why didn't Jane Tanner, upon discovering that Maddie was wearing pink pyjamas, immediately tell that she had seen a suspect carrying a child with similar clothes?

28. Why did the McCanns and friends say, at first, that they had not seen Murat near the Ocean Club, and then affirm the opposite?

29. Why did Murat initially say he was with his girlfriend on the night of 3 May and then affirm that he was with his mother?

30. What did PJ find at Casa Liliana that made them constitute Murat an arguido?

31. Who lied to PJ? (friends or Murat?)

32. How is it possible to discern, immediately, that your child's disappearance was an abduction?

33. Why did the McCanns call so many people before they called the police?

34. When Pamela Fenn offered to call the authorities, why did Kate refuse the offer, if it took another 40 minutes for the call to GNR to be made?

35. From the first moment Kate said that, before Maddie disappeared, she had felt followed for several days. Why did she later deny saying that? Why did she change her opinion?

36. In what city was Maddie born?

37. Why was a page in Kate's Bible crumpled, which describes the circumstances of the death of a child of King David?

38. Why did the investigators want to analyse that Bible?

39. If Kate is an anaesthesiologist, why doesn't she practise that speciality?

40. Why did only one couple stay with Kate, that whole night, on the evening of the disappearance?

41. Why did the McCanns' family and friends tell the English media that the Portuguese police was incompetent?

42. Why did the McCanns, in Portugal, say they had a good opinion about the Portuguese police, and their relatives in England said the contrary?

43. Why did Gerry demand a priest at 3am the morning of 4 May?

44. In which search(es) did either Kate or Gerry participate?

45. Who did in fact register the findmadeleine.com website?

46. Who paid to register findmadeleine?

47. Why did the person who registered findmadeleine.com hire a company to de the name of the owner?

48. How much money does the findmadeleine site generate? (apart from donations)

49. When and why was it necessary to create the Madeleine Fund?

50. Why did the McCanns have a media spokesperson two days after their daughter disappeared?

51. How much did Alex Woolfall cost?

52. And Sheree Dodd?

53. And Clarence Mitchell?

54. And Justine McGuinness?

55. Which other English couple could have put such a marketing machine into work?

56. What other English couple has been given the government's principal press spokesperson? (for personal support)

57. What are the McCann's connections, truly, with the British government?

58. Why was it that, after exposing the twins to photo sessions and television reports over more than 120 days, did the McCanns feel a sudden need to protect Sean and Amelie?

59. Russel O'Brien was away from the restaurant to care for a vomiting child. What sickness did the girl have?

60. Russel said he was away so long because he had to call the cleaning service for fresh sheets. Why did he lie?

61. Why did his daughter's bed sheets not shown any signs of vomit, nor any other dirt/stains?

62. Why did Russel O'Brien confirm the existence of a pact of silence with the McCanns?

63. Why did the manager of the Ocean Club feel the need to explain to the 'Guardian' that there were 60 persons looking for Maddie until 4 a.m.?

64. Why didn't the PJ's translators come into the Algarve immediately?

65. Why didn't anybody accept speaking about homicide in those first days?

66. Since they always had several cars at their disposal, why did the McCanns rent another one 25 days after Madeleine's disappearance?

67. Why did the McCanns go to Huelva, on a holiday, knowing they could not have any high level meetings?

68. Why did they take so few journalists with them?

69. What happened during those two hours in which the rest of the team lost track of the McCanns?

70. Why did the English tracking dogs detect cadaver odour inside the car that was rented by the McCanns?

71. And on Kate's clothes?

72. Why did the same dogs detect that presence of death on the cuddly toy that Kate never let go of?

73. Why did Kate wash [Cuddlecat] before the sniffer dogs arrived to investigate?

74. What is the meaning of the death scent that the dogs found going to the Luz church?

75. Why did the McCanns have a key to the church?

76. How many members of the parish in Praia da Luz have ever held the keys to the church?

77. And what will happen if tomorrow one of the members of the parish asks to the keys to the church?

78. Why doesn't the PJ have an official spokesperson?

79. Why did this case have a special spokesman from the PJ?

80. When did the abduction theory stop being consistent? (primary)

81. Why did it take so long for PJ to realize this?

82. Who had the courage? (to put the abduction theory aside)

83. Why did Kate's father say that Kate may have used sedatives on the children?

84. Why didn't the twins wake up with the noise that was generated in the apartment [after the alarm was raised]?

85. Why didn't the twins wake up even when their parents picked them up out of bed and took them to another apartment?

86. Why weren't the twins evaluated by a child psychiatrist?

87. Why weren't medical analysis done on the twins?

88. Why weren't the McCanns evaluated by a psychiatrist?

89. Why did the mothers of the Portuguese abducted children never have a special spokesperson from the PJ?

90. Why did the mothers of the other (seven) Portuguese missing children never need a spokesperson?

91. Why were the mothers of the other (seven) Portuguese missing children never received by the Pope, by the cardinal, by the prime minister, by the PJ every week?

92. Who were the mothers of the other (seven) Portuguese children ever received by?

93. What did the British Secret Service do in Portugal? (related to this case, obviously)

94. Who are the women who say they saw Maddie in Morocco?



97. Why did Gerry lose it with the questions from the Spanish interviewer?

98. How did the British Ambassador know about Madeleine's disappearance even before the authorities?

99. At what time?

100. Who called him?

101. What takes precedence in the Maddie case: political interests or the criminal investigation?

102. Who decided that British police would accompany PJ?

103. Was it a request or a command?



106. What happened to cause the McCanns, suddenly, to contract lawyers?


108. How much has the Maddie case already cost the Portuguese public?

109. Who is going to pay these expenses?

110. How much has been spent on the investigations into the other missing children in Portugal?



113. Who is going to pay for the British sniffer dogs, estimated at almost €7.000.000? (€7 MILLION)






119. Why did some English journalists offer €50 to any person who would say negative things about PJ in front of television cameras?

120. Why didn't anyone defend the dignity of PJ (neither in Portugal, nor England)?



123. Why is it that, as soon as the McCanns left for England, PJ turned the case over to the Public Ministry?





128. Why did PJ maintain a deafening silence on the Sunday the McCanns left for England?

129. If they had no financial concerns, why did the McCanns decide to leave, immediately after being named arguidos, when they had always guaranteed that they would stay in Portugal until their daughter was found?


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In fact, the journalist Hernâni Carvalho [author with Luís Neves of the ‘Maddie 129’ book] is categorical about the method: “The specialists in communication know how everything is done, the experts in analysing and collecting ...

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Maddie 129 is the name of the first book about Madeleine McCann. The little girl who went missing in Portugal over six months ago.The book was written by two Portuguese journalists: Hernâni Carvalho and Luis Maia. ...

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