I turn today to Madeleine McCann. As I write this we are midway between the second anniversary of her disappearance in Portugal and her sixth birthday.
I have a completely open mind as to what happened on that fateful night. I am yet to be convinced that her parents are innocent or guilty. I suspect that we will never know the truth of what took place until such time as Madeleine, dead or alive, is found and a case comes to trial.
For the sake of this blog I will presume the McCanns innocence.
The parents have stated their belief, indeed hope, that Madeleine is still alive and will be returned to them. Any parent can understand that hope and conviction.
If Madeleine was abducted then the most likely scenario is that she was taken by a paedophile or a ring of child sex offenders. Therefore you do not need an active imagination to comprehend what the poor mite would have been subjected to over the last 24 months... or what lies before her in the future. It is also possible that between drugs and brain washing she no longer knows who she is.
That being so - do we still hope that she is alive?
For the parents they face a life sentence anyway. Even if Madeleine is found alive and well they live in the knowledge that had they not left her alone with her younger twin brothers whilst they dined in a nearby restaurant she’d probably be in their midst today.
Without doubt a life and death tragedy.