The Madeleine McCann disappearance has plenty of facts but is sparse on clear suspects and motive. This leads to many a person using aspects of behaviour after the incident to clear or damn the McCanns.
I want to role-play a specific solution in order to see whether it is feasible or not. That scenario is a planned abduction by a lone perpetrator, and one that does not rely on a fluke. Hopefully, the issues that arise from this scenario will apply to other scenarios as well.
I am a hired gun, or more accurately, a technician. I am not curious as to what the end use is for the victim. I simply care that I have been offered a six-figure sum to deliver a white, female child in good health to a handover point. At that destination the girl will be exchanged for cash and my involvement will cease.
I am a career criminal. However, I have never been caught because I carefully plan and assess the risk of any operation, and avoid those where the chance of capture is great. The only crimes I take part in are those that are well organised with no loose cannons in the team. I will work alone or in solid teams, but I am not a member of a gang and I do not fraternise with other known criminals.
I have a reputation for tackling unusual challenges and solving them – boldly going where no one has gone before.
I have lived in southern Spain for several years and I am familiar with the south coast and all its workings.
I am not at king-pin level within the criminal world. This is deliberate, as it is the king-pins who get targeted in major police operations. I prefer to operate at a lower level, so that my chance of being caught reduces to the operational risk associated with a specific venture. In short, the police have no reason to be tracking me.
I have the distinct advantage of looking remarkably nondescript. Most people have trouble remembering me after a few months, and those who do have difficulty in providing any distinctive details concerning my appearance.
There is no specific time-frame set for the kidnap. That is, whatever time it takes to find, kidnap and deliver the girl is the time it will take. However, I have no reason to believe that I am the only one with this remit, and clearly, the person who delivers first is the one, the only one, who gets paid. While I won’t be rushing into a high-risk speed race, I won’t be dawdling either.
I have no idea whether I have a competitor within Iberia and no desire to know. My contact with the person offering the reward is already one source of risk, and I prefer not to increase the chances of being caught.
Therefore, at least in principle, this will be a lone-wolf attack if I can reasonably make that work.
The operational parameters on paper are simple. Kidnap and deliver a live, three-year old white girl, in exchange for a sum of money that will allow me to lead a generous lifestyle for some years.
(Note – the minimum wage in Portugal at the moment in 2015 is 570€ per month, I believe. This puts into perspective the amount offered for the target, and should also show the potential for bribery and corruption.)