Theory 1 – Madeleine simply wandered off

Did Madeleine Simply Wander Off?

Surely no child just wanders off into the night?

Read http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29205706 If this is correct, a 4-year-old Norwegian girl dreamt that the house she was in was on fire. She put on a pair of thin boots. She did not warn her relatives of the fire (note her mother was not in the house, as the girl was with an aunt). She unlocked the font door to get out. According to the report, apart from the boots she was wearing only panties and the weather was cold with a strong wind.

She was reported to the police by locals in a nearby town at 06:30 in the morning, with the aunt unaware she was missing. The girl had walked a distance of 5km, or around 3 miles, before other people noticed.

Did Madeleine simply wander off? I thought this idea was ridiculous until I read the article above.

Apartment 5A was anything but secure. Read Madeleine by height and Madeleine by weight on this blog and you’ll see the evidence that she was tall enough and strong enough to have opened the shutter on the children’s bedroom and climbed out.

Kate is dismissive of the idea that Madeleine walked out the rear door, the patio door that she was familiar going in and out of. This is based on Kate’s book, that the gate to the street was closed, the baby gate at the top of the stairs was closed and that the patio doors were closed, and that no four-year-old would do this. I am in agreement that I have not met a 4-year-old who would be this tidy. I cannot yet find any evidence statement that supports the description of the gate to the street, the baby gate and the patio door.

Kate, in her book “Madeleine” does not seem to consider the possibility that Madeleine may have opened the bedroom window and shutter herself. Or that Madeleine may have walked out the front door, as the Norwegian girl did.

Let’s go back to the evidence. Madeleine disappeared whilst wearing pyjamas but no shoes, quite unlike the Norwegian girl. The weather was not clement, but it was better than ‘cold with a strong wind’.

Madeleine was capable of getting out via the bedroom window, probably the front door, and definitely the patio door, which she used frequently.

Here’s the difficulty I have with this theory. If she wandered off, where was it she wandered off to? She was very familiar with the Tapas Restaurant, where she had high tea nearly every day. She was very familiar with her crèche club above the main 24-hour reception. She had a bit less familiarity with the main beach. I believe she had 3 visits, two with Ocean Club, one with the family, using different routes.

Everything in her experience is south of apartment 5A , so if Madeleine simply wandered off, I would expect her to head south. That would be somewhere from her apartment to the beach.

Layer in the local evidence. Human blood, unexplained, found 500m north of 5A outside the villa known as Quinta Dos Figos in Luz, on 6 May 2007. I cannot find anything in the files to suggest Madeleine went north or that the blood is hers. Or who bled on that occasion.

Layer in the Norwegian ‘evidence’. The attached graphic shows the places that are 5km from Luz, but it is as the crow flies, so an explanation is required.

You have to have detailed knowledge of the back routes around Luz to avoid very busy roads. The green circle represents apartment 5A. The red circles are those on the 5km range that would appear to be impossible. The amber circles are reachable, but unlikely.

Five km radius

Can the theory that Madeleine simply wandered off be ruled out?

I would rate this theory as extremely low probability except for the Norwegian girl’s experience and the human blood near Quinta Dos Figos.

It is an unfortunate truth that a sub-set of people in Luz will drive when they are bladdered to the extent of having difficulty standing up straight. So a low possibility solution is that Madeleine got out of the apartment, wandered north for some unknown reason, and came out of a daze to realise she did not know where she was. In a panic she stepped into the road to get help from an on-coming car. The driver was drunk and failed to stop in time. The driver helped Madeleine to the pavement where she bled for a short while, before the driver decided to put her in the car and take her to hospital. She died on the way, and the drunk decided the best way forward was to dispose of her body.

The probability is that the blood is simply from someone who tripped over on loose cobbles outside Quinta Dos Figos and it has nothing to do with Madeleine. Knowing this for certain would reduce the probability that Madeleine simply wandered off to almost zero.

The blood outside Quinta Dos Figos has been referred to Operation Grange, the current Scotland Yard investigation, and hopefully they have better evidence than I have.

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6 thoughts on “Theory 1 – Madeleine simply wandered off

  1. Great work, as ever. If you want to deal with Madeleine wandering off herself as an hypothesis, you must look at the state in which the apartment was found, as you do very well here. One side question to be considered would be the position of the soft toy, ‘cuddle cat’. Early press reports from ‘a police source’, IIRC, stated that it had been placed out-of-reach. That seems to be rubbish, as Kate says it was on the pillow. You really can’t believe anything in the press, as hacks are without shame, as were the police who were feeding them false info, if that is to be believed. I digress…

    Are you sure Madeleine could have raised the shutters? Have you got approximate measurements for the height of the band? Do also consider, her having been able to reach the bottom of the band would not be enough. One needs to place a hand a good distance up to pull the band out towards oneself and then down. And those shutters can be quite heavy too. I’d doubt it. But let’s say she could for the sake of argument.

    The next part is crucial. If you can find statements to suggest the bottom gate and patio doors were closed, you could for all intents and purposes discount this theory. There is no way a wandering child would close these behind her. Could she have climbed out the window? Well, again I’d doubt it. But did she? Forensics rule that out. Could she have walked out the front door? Well, then you must ask, at what height was the latch? I’d assume it was well out of her reach. So, key there are patio doors and gate.

    And then do you believe Kate’s statements (on that topic, at least)? Again hypothesising, those wishing to accuse the parents of lying to cover up a child that had wandered, as per the above hypothesis, must have her concocting a cover story rather than busily searching for her child. So she comes back and finds the patio doors open, gate open, and she knows Madeleine has wandered off… then immediately she raises a false alarm crying out ‘they’ve taken her’… perhaps raises the shutters herself, decides to tell everyone the doors and gate were closed, causes a commotion. Do you think a mother would do that, in that situation… or would she get everyone out looking for her lost child? I do not buy the former at all. Her reaction, as reported by all, IMHO, absolutely tallies with that of a mother in shock after realising her child was gone, and the apartment was in such a state as to show that somebody had entered and therefore abducted her.

    Final thoughts (sorry for the lengthy reply)… I think the best documentary made about this case was ‘Dispatches’… IIRC, the investigation team considered it far more likely, as you do, that if she had wandered, she’s have a) gone down-hill b) gone to somewhere familiar c) gone towards well-lit areas, and d) therefore have been found by somebody. They did also consider somebody encountering her in the street and snatching her, but it’s such a long shot they dropped it.

    Your hypothesis is interesting- she could have wandered and then been run over, drunk driver covers tracks. That’s fine… of course, the blood to the north, the opposite direction to the one she would very likely have taken, could prove to be irrelevant… but then she could have wandered in any direction, been run over anywhere leaving unnoticed blood or none at all, and that could still have happened. Or fallen into open road works, etc.

    But, for any of the above, she must get out of the apartment, and if it was left as reported, I’d rule that out altogether. The only witness to that can be Kate… so, rather inconclusively, it comes down to whether you believe her statement about the state of the scene when she arrived and altered it. And then, if one did not, whether her actions are within the realm of possibility of a mother who has just realised her daughter has wandered off into the night. Personally, I do believe her about this, and I cannot see any mother fabricating to exculpate herself in that situation.

    • The position of cuddle cat and princess blanket are going to prove to be crucial later on, so study the photos carefully.

      Madeleine was somewhat over a metre high, the height from floor to window was 91cm, and the pulley chord was some way below that.

      There are no statements whatsoever that define the position of the gates and the patio doors. Only Kate McCann could do this and her testimonies do not explain, one way or the other, what the situation was. Her 2011 book does, all 3 closed, not evidence statement.

      The front door is problematical. The inside mechanism is easily reachable by a girl near her 4th birthday, and easily operable by Madeleine. I cannot tell whether this door was locked or not from the files.

      I doubt, on the basis of evidence, that the blood relates to Madeleine. I doubt, also on the basis of the scene around Quinta Dos Figos, that it relates to a traffic accident. There is no blood on the road, two minor spots on the pavement, and a fair bit of blood on the top of the wall.

      It would simply be nice to find, analyse, and rule in or out the swabs of human blood that were taken from the scene.

      OK, I now need to go off and look for a Dispatches prog an Madeleine.

      • I’m fairly sure the definitive parents’ statements (sadly altered in GM’s case, which didn’t help matters…) claimed the door was on the latch, but likely not ‘double-locked’, if you like. That’s important in this scenario, i.e. could Madeleine have left that way- but remember the master keys which were stolen, and clearly being used to commit thefts? The front door under no circumstance was certainly secure, therefore.

        And I can’t believe you’re yet to watch that! I found it fascinating and massively dreadful, of course. But it examines all avenues from a properly objective stand-point. Would be very interested to hear your thoughts on it. All the best.

      • One of the advantages I have was that I was never interested whatsoever in this case until by pure chance I arrived in Luz for the first time some 5 years after the incident.

        Therefore there is much in the media that I am pig-ignorant of, whether said reporting is accurate or wild speculation.

        Basically, I have been following this story since around May 2014, when media leaks suggested Scotland Yard was to dig up central Luz and the main beach, which sounded ludicrous.

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