I helped Madeleine McCann investigation – Christian B revelations could be tip of iceberg… he’s the rarest of monsters

FOR 15 years, Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has devastated her family and baffled police around the world.

This week, there was new hope that the crime could be solved after German prosecutors charged the main suspect, Christian B, with a series of sexual assaults against children and women in Portugal, over 17 years between 2000 and 2017.

Madeleine disappeared from her vacation spot in May 2007Credit: Pennsylvania

Kate and Gerry McCann were on vacation in Praia da Luz when their daughter was taken

Kate and Gerry McCann were on vacation in Praia da Luz when their daughter was takenCredit: EPA

The convicted pedophile, who was 30 at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, has twice been convicted of sexual offenses against girls.

However, former detective Dr. Graham Hill, who was sent to the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, to advise local police in the days after his kidnapping, believes the new revelations could be just the “tip of the iceberg”.

“What people have to do is put the Madeleine McCann case on hold and see it as a sex offender in its own right,” he tells The Sun.

“He is a man who has been committing sexual offenses for long periods of time.

“Most likely, he would have committed many, many crimes, most of them would have gone unrecorded and unreported. This would just be the tip of the iceberg for him.”

‘Spontaneous’ abduction

As the founder of the Child Exploitation Online Protection Center (CEOP), Graham, who is presenting a new true crime series, The Murder Detective, on C+I from this Sunday, is Britain’s leading expert on child abduction and sexual abuse.

He believes that the person who took Madeleine did not set out to do so initially, but took advantage of the opportunity during a robbery.

“It tends to be an opportunistic crime. I think it was a random thing that she was taken away,” she says.

“There are millions of people around the world who have a sexual interest in children, but the number of people who actually kidnap a child is very small, which is why crimes are so rare.

“But child abduction is often spontaneous. Offenders have been thinking about children sexually for long periods of time and are then faced with a series of circumstances that lead them to act on it. They don’t necessarily go looking for the child.

“In the McCann case there was evidence of a robbery or break-in, so I think someone went in there to commit another type of crime, robbery, rather than take a child.

“Christian B has a history of sexually abusing children, but he is also a thief and risk taker, known to the Portuguese police and was living in the area at the time.

“If he had been investigating this crime, he would have been a suspect to me from the start and should have been first on his list.

“I would like to know if the Portuguese police knew about him. And if they did, what did they do to remove him from the investigation?

“And when the Portuguese police passed your information on to the Metropolitan Police for investigation, did you include Christian B’s name on that list of suspects?”

Christian B has been accused of a series of crimes in Portugal

Dr. Graham Hill is an expert in child abduction.

Dr. Graham Hill is an expert in child abduction.Credit: drgrahamhill1/twitter

Graham, who was sent in to help in his role as the CEOP’s behavioral expert, also revealed the heartbreaking first words he heard from Gerry McCann, the three-year-old’s distraught father.

“When I got to Portugal, I had a meeting with Gerry McCann and the first question he asked me was: ‘Do you think she’s dead?’” he says.

“That’s a tough question to answer, but I had to tell you that statistically, children who are abducted by a stranger usually end up murdered or dead within three to six hours.

“It is a fallacy that people kidnap children and keep them locked up because the logistics to do it are almost impossible. You have to feed the child, keep it clean, keep it quiet, and people who kidnap children don’t plan that way.”

murder comes home

Graham’s considerable experience in serious crimes is the backdrop to the five-part series Murder Detective, in which he re-examines gruesome homicides with the help of the Chief Investigating Officer (SIO) in each case.

Graham, previously an SIO on numerous high-profile cases, says he wanted to take viewers through each trial and help them build a picture of how each crime was solved.

“These are all the SIOs I know and they all chose the case they wanted to present in their episode,” he says.

“The one that really struck me the most was the case of Dean Mayley, a 24-year-old man with special needs, who had been sheltered by his family for many years.

“Just a few months before his death, he was allowed to go out on his own and ride a bus to visit relatives. But he was attacked, robbed and stabbed to death on a west London street in 2014 by four teenagers.

“The way the family talks about the crime and the investigation is very emotional and Metropolitan Police SIO Matt Bonner, who has dealt with many high-profile cases, said this stood out to him as his most serious case. successful, because of what it meant to the family.”

Dean Mayley was killed by thugs in 2014Credit: Collect

Police basics missing from Milly’s case

Despite his own experience, Graham decided not to include child murders in the series due to the notoriety.

“Kidnapping and murder of children are really rare, so to pick those cases, you would have to go to the most famous ones, like Milly Dowler, April Jones and the Soham murders.

“We may visit them in future series, but in this one, I chose the officers and they chose the cases.”

Graham was not an investigating officer in the case of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who was murdered in March 2002, and believes killer Levi Bellfield would have been caught much sooner had police followed basic procedure.

“There are some really good lessons with the Milly Dowler investigation because one of the things that was not done well was the house-to-house investigation of where she was last seen, in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey,” he says.

“A house to house has to be handled in a particular way. You’re not just going to be knocking on doors, you have to methodically go through the voter registry and weed people out.

“That was not done thoroughly enough because if it had been, they would have found one of the houses to be empty.

If they located the owner, he could have given them the name of the woman who was renting it, and that woman was Levi Bellfield’s girlfriend.

“Everyone thinks murders are solved by CSI-type techniques like fingerprinting, blood spatter analysis, etc., but in reality, sometimes murders are solved when someone knocks on the door and applies basic traditional police techniques. They remain the basis of those investigations.

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“Sadly, because that was not done, Bellfield was not caught and continued to commit more crimes.”

Murder Detective premieres on Crime+Investigation on October 16 at 9pm, with a new episode every Sunday. All episodes available to stream on Crime+Investigation Play starting October 16.

 

Graham believes that Millie Dowler’s killer, Levi Bellfield, would have been caught much sooner if the police had followed basic procedure.Credit: PA: Press Association

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