Home » Christian Brueckner is a monster. But I’m sure he didn’t do it says Madeleine McCann investigator

Christian Brueckner is a monster. But I’m sure he didn’t do it says Madeleine McCann investigator

by Press room

The case against the man suspected of abducting and killing Madeleine McCann rests on three key pieces of evidence. Convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner was named last month by Portuguese police as the official chief suspect or arguido in her presumed murder.

The question is: can we trust the evidence? Or is the entire indictment based on lies and wishful thinking?

In a major private investigation, hunting down witnesses and conducting interviews across Europe for more than six months, I have uncovered significant fresh information that doesn’t merely call the prosecution case into question.

It blows their claims to smithereens.

Not only are their facts inaccurate and misleading, but they are ignoring potentially the most important evidence of all – a strong alibi for Christian Brueckner, 44, supplied by a woman who has no reason to lie.

Christian Brueckner (pictured) is a convicted paedophile and has been named as the official chief suspect for the of Madeline McCann’s disappearance, but an investigator believes he didn’t commit this crime

Investigator Mark Williams-Thomas (pictured) has been following the Madeline McCann case from the very beginning, and he doesn't think Christian Brueckner was involved

Investigator Mark Williams-Thomas (pictured) has been following the Madeline McCann case from the very beginning, and he doesn’t think Christian Brueckner was involved

Prosecutors in Germany, where Brueckner is in prison, assert he boasted of snatching, abusing and killing Madeleine in a bar-room confession to an associate.

They point to the fact that Brueckner was living in Praia da Luz, close to the Algarve holiday complex in Portugal where Madeleine and her family were staying in May 2007.

And, in the most sensational and damning claim of all, they say telecoms mast data shows Brueckner was outside the McCanns’ apartment on his mobile phone for 30 minutes on the evening the little girl vanished.

Though Madeleine’s body has never been found and no forensic evidence exists to link Brueckner definitively to her abduction, those three strands when combined appear to show strong circumstantial evidence.

There is no doubt he is a man with repellent sexual leanings. A self-confessed drug dealer and burglar, he is serving a seven-year sentence in a German prison for raping a 72-year-old woman in her home on the south coast of Portugal, not far from Praia da Luz in 2005.

He denies having anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance. But to the general public, desperate for this notorious mystery to be solved and for an end to the ordeal of Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, his guilt might now seem beyond question as a result of the German prosecutors’ reports.

Madeleine McCann (pictured), aged three, disappeared as she slept in a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007

Madeleine McCann (pictured), aged three, disappeared as she slept in a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007

I have been investigating the truth of what happened to Maddie, who was nine days away from her fourth birthday when she disappeared on May 3, 2007, since the beginning. Within 72 hours of the alarm being raised by Kate, when she checked on her three children during dinner at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz and found that Madeleine was gone, I flew to the Algarve.

I have followed every twist of the story with intense interest ever since. It is my fervent wish to see the perpetrator caught but that cannot be achieved by selecting a likely scapegoat and pinning the allegations on him.

Worse, if the wrong man is convicted of Madeleine’s murder, then the real killer remains free.

In my determination to get to the truth, I have interviewed more people, tracked down more witnesses and broken down more obstacles than any other investigator. I have spoken in depth to the German prosecutors and Brueckner’s solicitor as well as corresponding with the suspect himself. What I have uncovered is deeply troubling. The much-vaunted confession in a bar simply doesn’t stand up.

Not only is there no proof that it ever happened but the man accusing Brueckner lacks all credibility. It is concerning that the German police ever took his statements seriously.

There is no doubt Brueckner was in the Algarve around the time of Madeleine’s abduction. One woman’s testimony proves that. But this woman, who was just 17 at the time of her brief relationship with the known drug pedlar and thief, can also place him miles away from Praia da Luz – and denies that his behaviour that week was in any way out of the ordinary. Just as damaging are my findings about the mobile supposedly used by Brueckner in Praia da Luz in the minutes before Maddie went missing. The idea that it pinpoints his whereabouts is just not accurate

No one should imagine that I have anything but contempt and disgust for Brueckner. As I tracked his meanderings over the past 15 years, I found numerous sickening proofs of his sexual deviance.

The case to find Madeline McCann has lasted for almost 15 years, but no one has been charged with a crime yet

The case to find Madeline McCann has lasted for almost 15 years, but no one has been charged with a crime yet

At one of his former lairs, a derelict shoe box factory in Braunschweig, Germany, police unearthed a massive stash of child abuse material. He bought the land in 2010 and sometimes stayed there in his camper van.

A barmaid named Karola told me he took her there: ‘It was unnerving even during daylight, and my colleague and I were joking, “Nobody would notice if he made somebody disappear here”.’ The site was discovered by police when a walker reported a foul stench.

Officers found the body of one of Brueckner’s dogs under a heap of child abuse material.

At that time, Brueckner ran a tobacconist’s kiosk. A former employee named Sabrina told me he beat his girlfriend, a young Russian woman, leaving her covered in bruises. ‘He was a pig of a man,’ she said.

He was convicted in Germany in 2012 of dealing in indecent images, 19 years after he was charged with two counts of sexually assaulting children when he was just 17.

And in 2017 he was arrested for exposing himself to children in a playground. With such vile behaviour, it’s easy to assume he must capable of abducting and killing a three-year-old.

And, knowing that he was in the Algarve in May 2007, that appears to be exactly what German police have done. But being a child abuser does not make you a child killer.

Through meticulous inquiries, I have been digging into those assumptions. And their foundations are weak or non-existent.

For many, the phone mast evidence is the most damning. Prosecutors say confidently that Brueckner was using a Portuguese mobile with a number ending in ‘680’ in early 2007.

What I believe really happened that night

Despite poisonous rumours and speculation by people who lack real insight into the crime, there is no evidence at all against Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate.

They were clearly not involved in any way with her disappearance. But Portuguese police made a grave error by failing to treat them as suspects immediately.

That is simply good practice: they should have systematically eliminated those closest to the child from their inquiries to clear the ground from under their feet.

Instead police started with the assumption that a stranger had abducted her. When that theory faltered, they aggressively turned their focus on the McCanns.

Gerry and Kate were in an impossible situation, at the centre of a worldwide media storm and out of their minds with worry for their daughter. When they were declared formal suspects, or arguidos, whatever they did was bound to be criticised.

So what is the truth of Madeleine’s disappearance? The mistake most investigators have made was to assume she was taken from her bed in the apartment.

In fact, it is far more likely that Maddie left on her own. That morning, she had said that her brother and sister, twins Sean and Amelie, two, had woken up during the previous evening while the adults were out at dinner, and that their crying disturbed her.

What would be more natural than for Madeleine, woken again by her brother or sister, to go looking for her parents? Perhaps she turned the wrong way as she left the flat and wandered into the car park.

Wherever she was, a predatory stranger saw her and acted on impulse.

One of the McCanns’ friends, Jane Tanner, thought she saw a man carrying a small child in pyjamas when she went at 9.15pm to check the children were sleeping. Perhaps that was the abductor – or perhaps no one saw him at all.

This kind of opportunistic crime is very rare but not unknown. My hunch is that more than one person knows what happened to Madeleine. I live in hope that the silence could break, as allegiances shift or attitudes change.

Phone records show categorically that, between 7.32pm and 8.02pm, this number was in use to another Portuguese phone, ending in ‘683’. It has been widely reported that analysis of the signal places the ‘680’ number very close to the Ocean Club, perhaps even outside the McCanns’ window. To add to the circumstantial evidence, the ‘683’ number I have linked to a sex offender whose activity on the internet’s ‘dark web’ sites is also heavily linked to child abusers. But there’s a major problem.

I cannot find any evidence ‘680’ was ever Brueckner’s regular number, in fact I have found contra evidence. The German police have just one witness, a woman who says she called ‘680’ and spoke to Brueckner.

With so much publicity around the case, I would expect to see many people coming forward to confirm that the suspect was using this number.

In fact, there is irrefutable evidence from multiple witnesses that ‘680’ was regularly used by a different man, a close friend of Brueckner’s who was also based in south Portugal. Paperwork and an official document that I have seen show this was his phone – not Brueckner’s. So it can’t be established the suspect was even using ‘680’ on the evening Madeleine was taken.

My investigation has demolished this evidence in a second way. We know the phone call at 7.32pm ‘pinged’ off a mast 200 yards from the Ocean Club.

But that doesn’t mean the user was nearby as the mast has a range of up to 21 miles.

When mobiles ‘talk’ to two or three masts, it is often possible to locate them by triangulation. That is not what happened here.

The bare fact is that someone, almost certainly not Brueckner, received a 30-minute call on ‘680’ somewhere in south Portugal that evening. This is not compelling evidence and actually makes the phone number ending ‘680’ irrelevant. My findings have been presented to the German authorities who say they are not bothered by the phone mast evidence.

Nor do they seem concerned at the unreliability of the convicted drug dealer and people trafficker who claims Brueckner confessed in a bar in 2008 to killing Madeleine. His name is Helge Busching and he is, quite simply, a fantasist.

One informant showed me a video of Busching in paramilitary kit, spouting nonsense about the case.

Busching and an associate, Manfred Seyferth, told police they saw videos filmed by Brueckner as he beat and raped a 72-year-old woman. Those tapes have never been produced.

Busching lacks real credibility and should be treated very cautiously as a witness. Even his initial statement to police is a major concern because he was given payment for information.

It could be argued Busching and Seyferth would say almost anything for money. Busching has said he will give an interview for 50,000 euros to be paid into the McCanns’ fighting fund – a bizarre stipulation. So far, he has had no takers.

Brueckner has repeatedly offered to be interviewed and then withdrawn. I wrote to him in prison, and eventually he agreed to see me. That was vetoed by the German authorities but Brueckner did write a four-page letter in which he admitted living in Praia da Luz in the early 2000s before being jailed for sex offences.

He insisted that, after his release in 2006, he did not return to the resort. Instead, he started importing and dealing drugs from his camper van along the coast.

One of his prime sites, he said, was Barranco Beach, 20km (12 miles) from Praia da Luz. That is corroborated by a photo of his van by the cliffs there.

Christian Brueckner's letter in which he said he did not return to the resort in Portugal

Christian Brueckner’s letter in which he said he did not return to the resort in Portugal

‘I was selling drugs on a large scale,’ he wrote. ‘I’d make trips back and forth to Spain, bringing drugs back, marijuana, making a good living.’ That tallies with his criminal record: his first arrest for drug dealing came after 2007.

The letter contained another assertion that could exonerate him completely. Brueckner claims he has an alibi.

During the week when Madeleine went missing, he was in a brief relationship with a 17-year-old German on holiday with her parents. Each night, she would leave their lodgings and spend several hours with Brueckner in his van.

Her family was staying in Carvoeiro, about 44km (27 miles) from Praia da Luz – about 40 minutes by road. Each evening he would leave the beach, drive into the town, park and leave at 10am.

Flight records show this family was in the Algarve that week. And that on May 10 the girl came to the notice of police as she was illegally carrying a pepper spray.

I have tracked down this woman, now 32, to a small town in Germany. She is very reluctant to take part in the inquiry, though if she is formally called by the police she will have to give evidence at trial.

That evidence surely rules out Brueckner. I confirm that, although she cannot say exactly what they were doing on May 3, she is sure his behaviour showed no changes or signs of stress that week.

And even more significant is that in the days after Madeleine disappeared, Brueckner was driving around in the van in which she was apparently abducted

Is it conceivable that this man drove to Praia da Luz, kidnapped a three-year-old some time after 9pm, abused and probably killed her, disposed of her body and then drove for more than half-an-hour, to meet his girlfriend?

Could he have acted as though nothing had occurred?

I must reiterate that Brueckner groomed and abused children. But there is a massive difference between committing these offences and the abduction and murder of a child. Nothing I have seen suggests he has a predilection to kill, let alone that he could carry out so hideous an act and then behave, an hour later, as if nothing had happened.

None of the supposed evidence against him stands up. No wonder over two years on, the German prosecutors have not charged him. I have no evidence Brueckner is responsible for the abduction and murder of Madeleine McCann.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

©2022 UK Times – All Right Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More