It is three months ago since Madeleine was abducted as she slept beside her twin brother and sister in the McCann’s holiday apartment in Portugal. Gerry, her father, has just been to the US to publicise her disappearance. He is said to be keen to go back home to England to rebuild their lives while Madeleine’s mother is reportedly in decline.
Kate McCann refuses to leave Praia da Luz where their daughter vanished. According to her mother she is no better than the day their little girl vanished and just keeps repeating “I need Madeleine back”.
When this story first broke I couldn’t sleep for thinking about it. Now I think about it a lot less. But of course for her parents the nightmare is as vivid as it was on day one. I suppose I hoped things would get better for them, that they would start to get on with their lives.
All of us imagine what we would do in their situation. Would we crack up or would we cope? For the sake of the other children you would have to go on. But it would be nearly impossible.
A friend of mine said the other day that in all probability Maddy was taken by a paedophile and killed within the first twelve hours. “That’s the usual pattern,” she said. Just the thought that there are people out there who can commit such heinous acts of cruelty is enough to keep me awake at night. In the UK now a well-known actor is being prosecuted for downloading images from the internet of seven-year old girls being tortured and sexually abused.
All we can do is hope against hope that Madeleine has been abducted by someone desperate for a daughter and not an evil pervert. Let’s hope she hasn’t followed the “usual pattern” and that this unusual case comes to an unusual (and happy) conclusion.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007