Sadly I think Madeleine was a huge problem for Kate - not so much Gerry, because I doubt he helped very much with kids, but for Kate she was dealing with 3 toddlers on her own. At home she may have had help, but on this holiday all the childcare was down to her. Gerry was having up to 3 tennis lessons a day and enjoying 'lads' time with his friends. Fiona had the help of her mother and Jane and Rachel had partners who were hands on in the care of their children. By comparison, Kate had a very raw deal, she was wary of going on the holiday, and the sulky Gerry, sitting apart from his wife and children on the bus, said 'he wasn't there to enjoy himself' - had there been a row?
I am not without sympathy. When my own kids were small, I spent many nights sat at home crying whilst my childfree friends and those with family support, were out whooping it up to their heart's content. But, like most mums and dads, I accepted it because in the whole scheme of things kids are little for such a short time and their cute smiles and loving hugs more than compensate for the 'good times' you miss.
Gerry and Kate however are a different kettle of fish. They are used to getting what they want. This may well stem from Gerry being the doted on youngest sibling and Kate being an only child, but their oversized egos drive them. If they want to do something they will find a way in which to do it, regardless. It is the secret of their success.
I believe Kate was jealous of Madeleine's relationship with Gerry (Gerry belongs to her) and resentful towards her daughter for dragging her away from the 'adult' things she wanted to do. And by adult, I don't mean in the textusa sense, but in the sense of 'it was their holiday too'.
With the demanding Madeleine out of the way, the parents relationship blossomed. Kate had Gerry all to herself and the twins had 24/7 care from all the friends and relatives who flew out to join them on their holiday. In the summer of 2007, the parents looked totally relaxed and stress free, almost like a honeymoon couple. Without nappies to change and demanding toddlers to deal with, they could spend all the time they wanted running, playing tennis and enjoying adult company without criticism. They were doing it for Maddie.
For me it is very hard to make the transition from violent rage to premeditated murder. The 'plan', if there was one, was far too complicated and there was no way of knowing how events would unfold once the disappearance of Madeleine was reported.
However, I don't rule it out, I respect the opinion of Dr. Ludke and if others higher up the Madeleine food chain were involved, it is a possibility. The speed with which the cherubic Madeleine became the face of massive child finding conglomerates is more than a little suspicious and the dodgy entry
on the Wayback site would support this theory.
From a logical perspective however, it is more likely that a crisis management and clean up operation took place. There are too many holes in the abduction story for it to have been pre-planned and the sloppy way in which the body was moved leaving the smell of cadaver in their own hire car suggests panic. Had they wanted to get rid of Madeleine there were far simpler and more effective ways in which to do it without drawing suspicion onto themselves.
I'm not sure anyone could have predicted that the disappearance of Madeleine would have caused such a media sensation. Gerry and Kate could not hide their surprise (and joy) at the way in which the Madeleine Fund took off. They went from 'We didn't know we needed a Fund' (Gerry) to a full blown fundraising campaign and plans for a 'Madeleine Day' for the whole world involving superstars from the music, sports and arts industries.
Whilst some of the armchair detectives are convinced Madeleine died earlier in the week and have come up with all sorts of theories to account for the parents actions (swinging, paedophile gangs etc), they are using nothing other than speculation.
Goncalo Amaral and the PJ were on the scene, they know more than we do, as do the officers on Operation Grange. The only facts we onlookers have are those released in the original police files which are now 8 years old and there has been a lot of water under the bridge since.
The highly trained and efficient EVRD (Enhanced Victim Recovery) dogs reacted to the McCanns belongings, the apartment they stayed in and the car they hired, no-where else. Any theory that discards those findings is worthless. So too any armchair theories involving others - when the PJ shelved the case through lack of evidence, they were not looking for anyone else.
Those who claim none of us know how we would act in such circumstances, need to wake up and smell the (Expresso) coffee - genuine parents grieving the loss of their child shun publicity and do not care what they look like. They do not do glamorous magazine photoshoots and go on world tours.