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The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann Review

Being a lover of true crime, when Netflix said they were bringing out a Madeleine McCann docu-series I was super excited. Actually watching it though, well I fell asleep four times.


I think we all know the case of Madeleine McCann by now. A tale of a three year old British girl who went missing, presumably kidnapped, while on holiday in Portugal with her family. This happened in 2007 and yes, even now people are still talking about the case.

Before I get into the docu-series I want to say before watching it I believed the parents had something to do with their daughter’s disappearance. The way they acted with the police and little things they did or didn’t do seemed off to me. Why wouldn’t you want to answer as many questions as you can to help find your daughter? Why would you wash her favourite toy when that’s the only memory and smell you have of her? And most importantly: why did the blood and cadaver dogs alert evidence in both the villa and the car?

And then I watched the documentary, and I’ll go through its problems in a moment, the documentary focused on the McCanns of course but also on the police and the journalists. How the police didn’t respond for a number of hours and how the crime scene was tampered with, you’d presume accidentally, by the McCanns and their friends. How the journalists went hard on the conspiracies around the parents alluding to the fact that they drugged their kids and were neglectful. This didn’t help when the police also named the parents as prime suspects while also having other leads, leads that either went cold or never came of anything.

And as we all know, after many years Maddie is still missing and it’s a horrific shame. While we can conspire about what the parents did and didn’t do at the heart of all of this is a young child whose life has changed forever.

Parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann

Do I still believe the parents committed the crime? No, but I believe their actions and how they went about their holiday certainly helped whoever took Madeleine to take her in the first place. They dined far away from the room, they didn’t respond well to when Maddie asked them ‘why didn’t you come when I was crying last night?’ and this didn’t feel at all like a family holiday. The adults would have their time with tapas and tennis and the kids would be at the kids club all day and asleep at night. Maybe if the side door wasn’t left unlocked, maybe if they stayed with their children then none of this would ever have happened.

But then that brings up other questions, if there was a kidnapper, why did they only take Maddie when the twins were there? How did they know the kids were alone when they hadn’t been on holiday long so the stake out time would’ve been short. Why did the twins not wake up when all the commotion was taking place in their villa? Why were Kate and Gerry acting so strangely with the police and how they conducted themselves?

In response to the documentary, while all these questions and ideas are great to delve into, it spent far too much time talking about side stories about other kidnappings, other journalists’ lives and things that were just not relevant to the main story at hand. This series was 8 episodes long at an hour each and could easily have been half that time, especially when they missed so many little details that are already common knowledge. Would I recommend this series? Definitely not, do your own research, because then at least it won’t be so flippant.

But, in the end, the horrible thing I think is that we will never know what really happened. Maddie could be out there, living her life as a normal child who was simply taken to be brought by a family that did not have kids. She could’ve been sold into human trafficking and who knows where she could’ve ended up. Or, tragically, that night in 2007 could’ve been the last night Maddie was alive.

What do you think?

Until next time.


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