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Madeleine McCann's mad officers froze me, says the best British detective


Graham Hill's specialty is the kidnapping and murder of children by sexual predators

Without a corona virus, Graham Hill would be in the US this week to train FBI agents. His specialty is the kidnapping and murder of children by sexual predators, and when he speaks to high-ranking detectives from police and investigative agencies around the world, he listens.

But they weren't in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in 2007.

Dr. Hill has given the mail an unsettling inside report of the chaotic first two weeks of chasing Madeleine McCann.

On May 7, 2007, Dr. Hill – a Surrey detective superintendent at the time who was seconded to the new British Center for Exploitation and Online Protection of Children – went to Portugal to help find Madeleine.

The three-year-old's disappearance from a bedroom in the Ocean Club on May 3 while her parents, Gerry and Kate, had dinner, the news began to dominate.

Detective Superintendent Hill, who had received the world's first family DNA conviction, could have helped while the evidence was still fresh.

Three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from a bedroom in the Ocean Club on May 3, 2007 while her parents, Gerry and Kate (pictured) had dinner

Three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from a bedroom in the Ocean Club on May 3, 2007 while her parents, Gerry and Kate (pictured) had dinner

But thanks to systemic dysfunction and suspected outside intervention by the Portuguese police team – led by detective Goncalo Amaral, who would be removed from the case and publish a book that made false accusations against Madeleine's parents – his contribution was undesirable.

Thirteen years and £ 12 million later, an investigation financed by British taxpayers was still not found.

Ten days ago, German prosecutors named the convicted pedophile Christian Brueckner (43) as the main suspect.

The Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral was removed from the case and published a book that made false accusations against Madeleine's parents

The Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral was removed from the case and published a book that made false accusations against Madeleine's parents

Officers gave Brueckner a mistake

The German police told Christian Brueckner that he was a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case in 2013.

Experts said the "mistake" means that he may have had years to have evidence that he allegedly linked him to.

Brueckner is now the main suspect in her disappearance in 2007.

His name was first passed on to the police when a man who ran a pool cleaning service with him in Portugal saw a TV-E-Fit appeal in May 2013.

Officials in Braunschweig, where Brückner lived, checked databases, found that he was a well-known sex offender, and sent him a letter asking him to visit the police station.

The German police told Christian Brueckner that he was a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case in 2013

The German police told Christian Brueckner that he was a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case in 2013

In the document that Spiegel TV had received and seen from the Daily Mail, he was asked to appear as a witness when Maddie disappeared.

A former police officer said, "That shouldn't have happened in such a delicate case." And Dr. Alexander Stevens, a defense lawyer in Germany, said: “If Christian B were really involved, he would have had the chance to kill evidence like computers. & # 39;

He is serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking in Germany. In December, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a 72-year-old US woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, a sentence that is currently under review.

However, the guilt game has already started. Why was Brueckner not on the radar of the first Portuguese survey and why was he not identified by the nine-year-old probe from the Met – Operation Grange?

A source near McCann Falls said last night: “A war is brewing between the Portuguese police and Scotland Yard over their previous knowledge of Brueckner.

"The Portuguese are again defensive about their role."

The Portuguese police have told local media that Met 2012 detectives knew about Brueckner, but "devalued" him as a suspect by not attributing "relevance" and "never" requesting further information.

A British police source confirmed that Brueckner was a "person of interest" at the start of Operation Grange, but there was insufficient evidence to make him a suspect.

Dr. Hill, who retired from the group in 2012, followed the latest development with interest.

On the day of his arrival in Praia da Luz in 2007, he met Mr. and Mrs. McCann who said they were concerned about what the local police were doing.

He said, "They wanted reassurance. Gerry McCann said to me: “I moved my daughter from one EU country to another EU country. How could the standards of police investigation be so different? "

"I couldn't reassure them. But I said I would try to help them find their daughter. "

The next morning, he met the leading Portuguese investigators at the city police station.

"It was like the 1970s," he recalls. "Very macho. The incident room was full of cigarette smoke and there was a noticeable absence of women.

"It was not what I expected from a British perspective." Not many people seemed to be there. It wasn't very busy. And that's all I've seen, how they worked. I was not invited anywhere else.

“It was full from the start. The detectives were very polite and measured, but also suspicious of why we were there and what we wanted to achieve. I only met Amaral on this first occasion and another meeting. Obviously, he felt he didn't need my help. "

Dr. Hill said he asked for information or a meeting with someone related to the case every day, adding, “I had to do everything. The meeting would then be canceled without exception.

“If I asked about search strategies, they would just tell me that they do everything possible. When I asked about well-known sex offenders, they told me it was all in the hand. I was kept at a distance. I could give advice on predatory sex offenders and hope they show interest and get involved, but they didn't.

“It took a terribly long time to find out even the smallest detail.

"Nobody ever said," What do you think? ". You just paid lip service to my presence."

It took a few days before they even told him that they were concentrating on one prime suspect – the British expat Robert Murat. Dr. Hill gave them advice on interview techniques. It was the only time he thought they ever really listened to him, but Murat proved completely innocent.

No other suspects were ever mentioned to him. The McCanns did not become suspects or "arguidos" until September – another indication of how poorly the investigation was carried out from the start.

Christian Brueckner

Madeleine McCann

Ten days ago, German prosecutors named the convicted pedophile Christian Brueckner (left) (43) as the main suspect for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Dr. Hill said that if Portuguese detectives were more willing to discuss the case, "I would have told them that the first people they had to exclude from the investigation were parents or a relative." He added: "It was nonsense for the Portuguese to make them suspects months later.

“They missed the job very early and never recovered. It was too big for her. "

After ten days of passive disability, Dr. Hill returned to the UK.

The Portuguese and British police are facing difficult questions as to why Brückner has not been properly investigated. He added: “When did the Portuguese know about Brueckner? And in what context? The same questions apply to the Metropolitan Police.

“The worst scenario for a senior investigator is that there is already information in their systems that would have identified the perpetrator.

Referring to US research, he said: "They examined 75 child abduction convictions – 70 percent of those who did so were addressed in the first 48 hours of the investigation.

"It's good to say," Let's go back and look again. "But that didn't happen. Madeleine was still not found. But we have to learn lessons from her case."

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