Madeleine McCann: On the road to Brazil with dead Raymond Hewlett
Can it be true? Is it possible that missing Madeleine McCann still sells newspapers? (Surely, ‘been found alive and well’ – ed.) The sub-headline is no less informative:
“Scotland Yard has new pictures that seem to show Madeleine in Brazil.”
James Murray has more facts:
DETECTIVES have been given a photo which appears to show Madeleine McCann with an abductor.
The Sunday Express was passed the picture independently but Scotland Yard appealed to us not to publish it while it continues sensitive global investigations into the missing girl.
Got that? The girl with the massive reward on her head. The world’s most famous missing child. The innocent child we are all supposed to be looking for – “no stone unturned” – has been seen with a person who stole her. But in the global appeal for news, the Sunday Express will not broadcast the face of the kidnapper.
Officers were happy for us to describe the potentially key evidence which shows a healthy fair-haired girl aged three or four in pink trousers, a green top and a blue hat.
So. This is an old photo. And from it James Murray can diagnose the child’s health. That must be one clear photo.
The child is walking along a road, possibly near a port or airport as there are many people with suitcases in the area. It is sunny with a palm tree in the background.
Oh, goodie, a game. James Murray spies with his little eye, something beginning with MM (Maybe Maddie). Maybe…
The photograph was allegedly taken in Brazil in June 2007, a month after Madeleine, three, was snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast. The girl is holding the hand of a swarthy foreign-looking man aged about 50 with long dark hair and a beard. He is wearing cut-off jeans and a green T-shirt.
Older man – swarthy, you says – with a blonde child. Those of raised on tabloid scaremongering would think of him an everyday paedo. But it seems that the man with a child is most likely a child catcher.
Nearby, another man in checked shorts and a black T-shirt is pulling a red suitcase. There is no sign of a woman and the child looks out of place with the older men.
If you see a man with a child in public, you just know they are up to no good. Trust no-one. All men are potential child abusers. And then the clincher:
If the picture is genuine, it would be the biggest breakthrough in the case to date.
No. It would be the ONLY breakthrough. So. Any more facts?
A Portuguese speaking man living in Brazil forwarded the photo to a detective on Operation Grange, the Yard squad trying to find Madeleine by reviewing thousands of documents. The man suggests paedophile Raymond Hewlett, who died of throat cancer, aged 64, in Germany in 2010, was involved with others in the abduction.
Hewlett never did make a death-bed confession.
Hewlett was staying on a Portuguese camp site when Madeleine was taken. In a deathbed letter to his estranged son Wayne he claimed to know what happened to her.
Did he? What did the son know of his dead father, a man who had a record for child rape? Said Wayne in the Sun on October, 2010
Wayne, of Telford, Shropshire, said: “It was a bolt from the blue and I shook when I read it. He stated he didn’t want to go to his grave with us thinking he had done such a horrible thing. He said he had had nothing to do with taking Maddie but did know who had. He said a very good gipsy friend he knew in Portugal had got drunk and ‘let it out’ that he had stolen Maddie to order as part of a gang. My dad said this gang had been operating for a long time and had snatched children before for couples who couldn’t have children of their own. Maddie had been targeted. They took photos of children and sent them to the people they were acting for. And they said Yes or No. Dad said the man told him it was nothing to do with snatching children for a paedophile gang or for a sexual reason. He said there were huge sums of money involved. And he totally believed what this man was saying.”
What happened to the letter?
“I actually burned it because it unnerved me so much.”
The Sun adds:
Wayne did not contact The Sun about the message. We learned of its existence through a friend.
Whose friend? We were never told. Hewlett’s name has been linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann but not a shred of evidence has been presented to him guilty.
Back in the Express, Murray has news on the man who saw Maddie and her kidnappers in Brazil all those years ago:
He wants to be flown to London to give officers the “entire route taken by the bandits”. The man says he is not a policeman, is not seeking money nor fame and wants to remain anonymous. He adds: “I am sending you more photos of the bandits taking Madeleine McCann and running from the police. Unfortunately, we have to break the normal investigation rules, only for this specific case. Your presence, together with me, and also your investigators, we will rebuild the bandits’ entire action.”
Nothing says truth like an appeal to be flown to the UK and “break with normal investigation rules“. Murray notes:
Scotland Yard and the McCann investigators are used to dealing with letters from cranks, but are taking this more seriously because of the photographs provided.
Has he told anyone else?
We can also reveal the man has been in contact with Isabel Duarte, Kate and Gerry McCann’s civil lawyer in Lisbon.
She must get lots of crank calls, too. Why is this one different?
Mrs Duarte told the Sunday Express: “It is an interesting picture but you cannot say it is Madeleine.”
The Express can – on its front page. She adds:
“I communicated with him by e-mail because I wanted to know where the picture was taken and who took it and who the men are. He was not prepared to tell me but said he would talk to the police. I don’t know exactly what this guy wants but it needs to be checked out. It is a matter for the police to look into.”
No time to waste, then. Police resources must be put on this immediately. And get the Feds:
The Yard may send the picture to FBI imaging experts in America for an opinion.
Or may not be.
This week the Yard is expected to ask detectives in Brazil to interview the man before considering whether to fly him to London.
Expected by whom? We’re not told.
But if one old photo might show the missing child, then why not get the US, Brazilian and UK authorities to investigate. It’s an important breakthrough. Look! It’s front-page news on the Sunday Express…