Who is suspected of killing the girl in 2007

The disappearance of British Madeleine McCann, in Portugal, was 15 years old on May 3. Without evidence, the investigation is still ongoing. The case was only presented in June 2020, when prosecutors in Brunswick, Germany named Christian Bruckner, then 43, as the prime suspect, indicating the girl’s death. The lack of official information about what might link Bruckner to the girl gave documentaries the power to go after the criminal’s past.

The Madeleine McCann case has been the subject of books, series, and documentaries, the most famous of which was produced by Netflix. The products highlight the lack of evidence – no dead body or traces. Without them, it would be difficult to incriminate a German imprisoned for other crimes, including the rape of an American in Praia da Luz, the same resort where the girl disappeared and where he lived between 1995 and 2007.

In April of this year, the Portuguese police requested that the German be charged, so that the crime would not end. But there is still a lack of answers about what Christian Bruckner would have done with the baby and whether he was really responsible.

Who is Bruckner? How did you stay off the police radar for so many years? What connects you to Madeleine?

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Christian Bruckner, suspected of being involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Photo: reproduction

The Madeleine McCann Case: The Prime Suspect is the first documentary series focused on following in the German footsteps. Available on Discovery+ since the end of last year, and divided into three chapters, the production travels across Europe searching for people who lived with the suspect and interviewing others who took part or were involved in the investigation.

One of them is Portuguese detective Gonzalo Amaral, who led the case in 2007 and was eventually removed after the girl’s parents were cited as suspects. He – who came to quarrel with the British authorities – now does not trust the German police:

They talk a lot but don’t show any results. The question is, what do they do when they can’t come up with anything? Portuguese detective Gonzalo Amaral has been removed from the case

Although his country’s authorities were discredited and replaced, Amaral questioned the Germans, who since 2020 have been in possession of a Bruckner’s pickup and could be the missing piece to solve the mystery. The alleged progress of the case is not made known to the public:

“I can’t reveal much. What I can say is that we don’t have forensic evidence of Madeleine McCann’s death. On the other hand, we have different evidence. It could be witnesses, photos. But at the moment I can” to mention the type of evidence we have. , because, in our view, this is not the time for that,” says Hans Christian Walters, the public prosecutor in charge of the case in Germany.

Bedouin life

A very distinctive feature of the life of the German in Portugal was his closeness to the community, who traveled around the world in trailers and vans. In April 2006, when the Portuguese police arrested him for theft dieselHe declared that he was living in one of these vehicles and had no fixed residence, which prevented the authorities from searching his rented house, where there was a camera with rape videos, in addition to items stolen from tourists who frequent Praia da Luz.

Who is telling the story? Manfred severthretired now living in a Trailer for a movie at Ancona, in Italy, and met him in Portugal. “He used to break into hotel apartments, climb up the facades. In his house there were various kinds of electronic devices, photo cameras, video cameras, and everything that could make some money was scattered all over the house,” he recalls.

Bruckner He was imprisoned for eight months, until December 2006. An unusual amount of time for a minor offense, but was extended precisely because he did not want to give an official address and insisted that he live in a truck.

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The reporter photographed a house where Madeleine McCann was suspected of kidnapping and lived in 2007, near Lagos, Portugal

Photo: Rafael Marchant

“My colleague and I went home at night, where Christian was in prison. diesel. They were all open, devastated and torn. There wasn’t much, I took a gun and found about 20 liters of it diesel. Everything was empty, and there was nothing else. So my friend took a camera and turned it on.”

It was the photographs that would become evidence of an American rape, a crime for which Bruckner was convicted and imprisoned in his home country. But this was little compared to other things the Germans had hidden.

“You can hide a small child”

German Dieter F. Interesting clues about the steps the suspect may have taken in the spring of 2007. Dieter remember that he had gone to visit his daughter in Portugal, between March and April of that year, and that Bruckner was parked in her backyard with Trailer for a movie.

Dieter got into the car, curious to see what the car looked like from the inside. “It had a big sofa, a swivel chair, a ballroom, and a huge space in the back. volumes white and yellow [que está em posse das autoridades alemãs]It was Trailer for a movie Much larger. He told me he wanted to smuggle 50 kilos of marijuana. “I could have hidden it so well that no one would find it,” the witness said.

The plan appears to have worked, as in the fall of 2007 he lived in his trailer in southern Germany, where he sold a large quantity of marijuana, according to police. Evidence that he hid the shipment so well that he was able to drive from Portugal to his native country with it.

Another Bruckner quote stuck in Dieter’s memory: the suspect told him the car was “too big to hide a small child.”

Bruckner lived in Portugal for 12 years. But shortly after Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, he left Praia da Luz and returned to Germany. The house he secretly rented was about 10 kilometers from the resort. Ocean The club where the girl disappeared.

It is also known that on May 3, 2007 someone called him from a number prepaid An hour before disappearance. The phone call is the only evidence released by the police that puts Bruckner near from the crime scene.

concrete basement

Following Bruckner’s speeches in the years following the child’s disappearance, investigative journalists arrive at a property he rented in Germany between 2013 and 2016.

“The previous tenant had started building a basement. When we handed the property over to him, we told him this basement needed to be poured because basements aren’t allowed. He brought some materials and had a trailer he drove the whole time,” says owner Jürgen Kromströn. German police never inspected the site.

After leaving Portugal, shortly after the disappearance of the British girl in May 2007, Bruckner went to northern Germany. In 2009, he bought a plot of land with some rubble, where an abandoned factory was located.

It was there, seven years later, that police found six flash drives and two memory cards with more than 8,000 improper photos and videos, buried next to his dog bone, among that they Child sexual abuse and zoophilia files. The material was found while the police were searching the area for another missing girl, who has not been found to this day.

Bruckner has been in the crosshairs of German police since 2014, when a camera containing about 400 photos and videos of pedophilia was found in an apartment he rented. In 2015, he was convicted of possession and production of child pornography and sexual assault, but managed to escape.

I travel a lot. This is an important point. It becomes very difficult for authorities to find a person who travels a lot, especially if the person has moved to another country. Alexander StevensCriminal attorney

Before that, an investigation also referred to a Skype conversation between Bruckner with another homosexual, in which he revealed his desire to kidnap a child to produce pornography. When asked how dangerous it is, he replied that it’s easy to do when you can destroy the evidence.

For the experts interviewed, the certainty that the German had the potential to dispose of evidence in this conversation may be indicative of his involvement in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Childhood and first crimes

Born in 1976 in Würzburg, Germany, Bruckner was abandoned by his mother as a child. After spending a year in foster care, he was adopted, but at age 13 he returned to state foster care after his adoptive father had a car accident that made it impossible for him to take care of his family. The story is told by an ex-girlfriend who prefers to remain anonymous.

By pulling out Bruckner’s criminal record, it’s easy to understand that he moved from Germany to Portugal at the age of 19. He was first booked at the age of 15 for driving without a licence. Before he turned 18, he had three more convictions, including sexual assault of a 6-year-old.

If you are a criminal, there are certain countries where it is easy for you to go unnoticed. Germany is not one of them. Nor is England. I think Portugal is unfortunately one of them. Alexander Stevens, criminal attorney

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