There are some crimes which seem to define the generation who live through them. In the 60s the horrific murders perpetrated by the Manson family went down in history. In the 90s, the trial of OJ Simpson was the most sensationalised and publicised crime in living memory, with various dramatic twists and turns which captivated the interest of society at large. But in the last decade, the mystery is this: what happened to Madeleine McCann on the evening of 3 May, 2007?
The whereabouts of the missing girl, who was only a three-year-old at the time of her disappearance, has provoked an international search effort, leading to what British newspaper The Daily Telegraph referred to as “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history”.
Madeleine McCann was on holiday with her parents, her two-year-old twin siblings, and a group of family friends and their children in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal. The children had been left asleep at 8.30pm in the ground-floor apartment, while Mum and Dad, (Kate and Gerry McCann), dined in a nearby restaurant. By 10pm, Madeleine was gone.
Since then, there have been numerous theories put forward about the girl’s whereabouts, and Kate and Gerry have never entirely escaped suspicion after the Portuguese police named them as suspects early in the investigation. Yet now, almost 10 years after Madeleine’s disappearance, a petition has cast even further suspicion on her parents – and demands that they undergo a lie detector test. Is this a call for justice? Or heartless scaremongering?
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