The weekend began with major news outlets focusing on new police searches down three remote wells for the body of Madeleine McCann.
Over 13 years since the little girl went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, focus keeps ramping up on jailed pedophile/ drug trafficker/ sex attacker and convicted thief Christian Brückner.
The latest searches in wells near beaches around Vila do Bispo that the now 43-year-old is said to have frequented close to the time that Madeleine went missing, appear not to have revealed any human remains.
However different sources are asserting different ‘truths’.
For example, British online The World News, claims “Portuguese police say they now have “fundamental evidence” Madeleine McCann is dead”.
Portuguese state broadcaster RTP is cited as the source – but news outlets here are nothing like as ‘categoric’.
Indeed, it’s difficult to see where The World News gets its information – certainly not from RTP – though the channel’s Sexta às 9 investigative programme admits its own reporters have “found new leads that make it more plausible that Christian Brückner was the author of this crime”.
Again, this is said with reference to alleged sex ‘crimes’ – none of which have involved children of Madeleine’s age.
In every case, the incidents cited by Sexta às 9 have been with young adolescents.
Nonetheless, the overall picture is of Portuguese and German ‘BKA’ detectives working in some form of collaboration, with the latter every bit as convinced that Brückner is their man as they were when they first ‘broke’ the news of their interest in him (click here).
Even so, there are a number of ‘loose ends’.
For example, German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters is convinced of Brückner’s guilt, that he ‘did the deed’ (meaning killed Madeleine) but at the same time, RTP reports that Brückner’s “best friend” Michael Tatschl – apparently living with Brückner at the time Madeleine went missing – has told the UK Mirror his friend “was a pervert and would be perfectly capable of kidnapping a child for sexual abuse or money”.
In other words, if Maddie was kidnapped in order to be sold, it is unlikely Brückner would have murdered her and thrown her body into a well.
What has emerged certainly is that authorities are persisting in efforts to find the ‘missing piece of this puzzle’: the ‘smoking gun’ that could nail Brückner to the most-talked-about missing persons case of modern times.
When German police first trailed Brückner as their suspect, they released details of a mobile phone with which he had carried out a half-hour conversation shortly before Madeleine disappeared from her bed.
Hopes were that they would discover who had been on the other end of the line and so get a little closer to solving the case.
According to Sexta às 9, this hasn’t happened.
Brückner meantime remains in jail, allegedly saying he had nothing to do with any of it (click here).
Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ coordinator who led the initial investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, has reiterated his belief that Brückner is being used as a convenient scapegoat (click here).