Maybe Leaving Neverland – the documentary about Michael Jackson’s alleged victims. Either way, it’s pretty sombre stuff.
At this point, every man and his dog is familiar with the infamous Madeleine McCann case, but Netflix’s docu-series shed plenty of new light on the disappearance with interviews from police involved in the investigation and former suspects.
Parents Kate and Gerry were noticeable in their absence, though, after they refused to take part.
In a joint statement ahead of the documentary’s release they said:
“We are aware that Netflix are planning to screen a documentary in March 2019 about Madeleine’s disappearance.
“The production company told us that they were making the documentary and asked us to participate.
“We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it.
“Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme.
“We will not be making any further statements or giving interviews regarding this programme.
In nine days time, it will be the 12 year anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, and sadly, it seems she’s no closer to being found.
Ahead of the day, Kate and Gerry have posted a message thanking people for their ongoing support in searching for their daughter.
On a Facebook page run by the husband and wife, they said: “Thank you for continuing to have hope and helping us in the search for Madeleine”.
It was posted with an accompanying photo decorated with pink flowers and a butterfly which read, “You never run out of options if you have hope.”
The Netflix special was compelling from start to finish, and addressed the continued scrutiny that the McCanns have been under since she went missing.
There’s so many conspiracies, secrets and theories that you really can get bogged down in it all, but ultimately I believe she was taken by a paedophile ring who had done their research of the area beforehand and acted during a very small window of opportunity.
Interestingly, this comes after one of Maddie’s final chilling questions – which she supposedly said before she went missing – has emerged.
In Kate’s 2011 book, Madeleine McCann: Our Daughter’s Disappearance, the 51-year-old details a question Maddie asked that left her “puzzled” and now “haunted”.
At breakfast time, Madeleine had a question for us: ‘Why didn’t you come when Sean and I cried last night?’,” she wrote.
(Maddie was referring to herself and Sean, her brother, whom was also left alone.)
For context, the night before the three-year-old went missing, Kate and Gerry had gone to dinner while Madeleine and her brother Sean slept in apartment.
The next morning, while having breakfast, Maddie confused her parents with the question.
“We were puzzled, did she mean when they were having a bath, or when they had gone to bed?” Kate continued.
“It certainly had not been in the early hours because I’d been in the room with them.
“Madeleine didn’t answer or elaborate, instead she moved onto some other topic that had popped into her head.”
Kate wrestled in her head what Maddie had meant and wondered if her daughter had meant they had woken up and cried while they were out for dinner.
“Gerry and I were disconcerted, could Madeleine and Sean have woken up while we were at dinner? If so, it was worrying, obviously, but it did not seem probable.
As I’ve said, not only did they rarely stir at all at night, but if they did it was hardly ever, and I mean ever, before the early hours.
If they had done so on this occasion, it would mean they had woken up, cried for a while, calmed themselves down and fallen asleep again.”
Kate also says the idea both her children waking up and not being noticed by their parents during the night was unlikely.
“All of this would have been in the space of 30 or 45 minutes”, she wrote.
“Children usually need some soothing back to sleep once they’ve woken, especially if two of them are awake and upset at the same time.
“It seems highly unlikely they would have gone through all these stages without one of them overlapping with one of our checks.
“Not for a moment did we think there might be some sinister reason for this occurrence, if indeed anything had occurred.
“Within hours, the explanation for this would seem hugely important, and so haunted have I been ever since by Madeleine’s words that morning that I’ve continued to blame myself for not sitting down and making completely certain there was no more information I could draw out of her.
“This could have been my one chance to prevent what was about to happen, and I blew it.
“There was absolutely nothing to give me any reason for suspicion and we can all be clever after the event.
“But it is my belief there was somebody either in or trying to get into the children’s bedroom that night, and that is what disturbed them.”
In addition to this, the 48 questions Kate refused to answer when she was interrogated by Portuguese police have been revealed.
In all honesty, I think the McCanns should have taken part in the documentary, not only to help clear their names and prove their innocence, but also to raise the profile of the case even further.
Images via Getty