Kate McCann and the ever-changing story of the 'jemmied' window

By Kazlux on Joana Morais

'A sickening breeze'

It wasn’t until Kate walked into the villa at 10 and felt a sickening breeze—the front window had been jimmied open—that she realized something terrible had happened. “The scene was stark,” Gerry tells me. On one bed the twins lay sleeping. In the next lay only the plush cat toy Madeleine was never without. That was when Kate came out screaming, “Madeleine has gone!”
Vanity Fair

“Kate must have tried Jon’s mobile once as we stirred when it rang at about 03h20. Jon spoke briefly with Kate and then called her around 03h30. I knew that Kate and Gerry were on holidays in Portugal. Kate was very anguished and on the telephone and told me that she had checked on the children every half-hour. It was around 22h00, and when she went to check on the children she found that someone had entered the apartment and taken Madeleine from where she slept; that Madeleine had been abducted. The person must have entered, passed by the twins and taken her.
Kate continued that when she entered the apartment via the patio doors, a breeze hit her in the face as if a door or window was open. When she entered the children’s room, the window was open, the blind had been forced and Madeleine had disappeared.
Michelle Thompson in a statement to the Leicestershire police, april 2008

Erm, and I know there’s been a lot, when Kate, the night when we came back and Madeleine was gone, and I think that was something that had, erm, there had been some discussion about, because she’d, the door had slammed, erm, when she’d gone in, had slammed shut, and she’d gone back to look, thinking she’d left the French doors open and, in fact, they were shut and she thought, well where’s the breeze coming from, and it was then that she’d opened the door to realise that the window was open and that’s why the door had slammed”.
Fiona Payne in a statement to the Leicestershire police, april 2008

DW: "Err well at that point I can’t, I can’t remember, a lot, a lot of what I’m saying is perhaps some of what was said on the night or seen on the night and also what was spoken about later, the fact that you know she, it was the fact the door had, had slammed shut that drew her attention to something not being right in the room, you know when she went to check on the children.”
PC: "Right.”
DW: "And err and that, that draught through the window had, had caused the door to slam.”
PC: "Is that the bedroom door that you understood it as?”
DW: "The children’s bedroom door.”
Diane Webster in a statement to the Leicestershire police, april 2008

And because I was looking for, you know, well people say, well why didn’t you go in the room, why didn’t you check on Madeleine, you were, you said you’d go and check, but it was just that, we were just satisfying ourselves that nobody was upset and awake and crying, we didn’t expect that if I checked each three beds somebody, it just wasn’t sort of something that you thought about, you just thought, you know, is somebody, you know, upset, do they want their mum or something, you can say, you know, somebody might have vomited and you wouldn’t know about it, but there was, you know, nobody was awake, you thought, if something, just one, it’d be, it’d sort of feel a bit odd, you know, from the draughts, you know, when Kate went in something about the door shutting, there was, I presume, a through draught. So I just sort of went towards the doorway, I didn’t step over the threshold, I didn’t see Madeleine and I didn’t check, I turned round and came back out, said all was quiet when I got back to the table and then we went on with food.
00.29.11 4078 “So you weren’t, just to clarify what you have said, you weren’t conscious of any draught?”
Reply “Yeah”.
4078 “The curtains were drawn and weren’t blowing around?”
Reply “Yeah”.
Reply “No, no, we’ve talked about that before, I didn’t smell anything, I mean, I could see the children breathing, but I didn’t clock it as abnormal, erm, it’d be completely to speculate to say whether their breathing was fast or, I couldn’t say, I mean, they were breathing and that’s what, you know, and that was what I was there to check, erm, no, no funny sort of smells, no sort of funny draughts, no sort of funny sort of noises, no, erm, nothing that I can think of for that. I mean, it was a complete just a shock out of the blue when, you know, I’d been in and then suddenly somebody’s saying Madeleine’s missing, there was nothing that made me think, oh”.
4078 "Okay. And then just to mop up the questions that were outstanding from the Portuguese, when you went into check Madeleine, Sean and Amelie the evening that Kate asked you to do that on the third of May, when you went in through their patio door did you close that after you went in?”
00:03:44 Reply "Err I, I’m fairly sure I would have closed that, if not completely to, I’m pretty sure the more I think about it though I would have closed it to, because I wouldn’t have wanted there to be err a sort of a funny draught or, or some noise, or something that made the door slam that would have woken them up so I pulled it to, behind me, but I can’t guarantee it was completely shut, but it would have been there or thereabouts.”
Matthew Oldfield in a statement to the Leicestershire police, april 2008

Kate: Yeah, so I thought well I'll just close it over again, and as I went to close it over it slammed shut and I thought and it was like sort of you know a draught had caused it to shut so I turned behind me and I thought are the patio doors open and they were closed and I thought well that's strange so then I opened the door thinking I'll open it ajar a bit again and that was when I kind of looked into the room and when I just looked and it was quite dark and I was just looking and looking at Madeleine's bed and I was thinking is that her that I was looking for why isn't Madeleine there? And then in the end I walked over and thought oh, she's not in bed and then I thought maybe she's wandered through to our bed and that's why the door's open so I went through to our bedroom and she wasn't there and then I kind of see then I'm starting to panic a bit and I ran back into their room and literally as I went back into their room the curtains that were drawn over just "foooosh" flew open and that's when I saw that the shutter was right up and the window was pushed right oper. And that was when I just knew that erm someone had taken her. So I, I mean I ran to the window and I didn't know what I thought was going to see but I ran to the window and then I quickly hmm quickly looked through the wardrobes I had I suppose this temporary thought she was cowering in a wardrobe or something anyway she wasn't there and I just ran out and soon as...
Kate McCann on the Oprah show, may 2009.

K: I did my check about 10.00 ‘clock and went in through the sliding patio doors and I just stood, actually and I thought, oh, all quiet, and to be honest, I might have been tempted to turn round then, but I just noticed that the door, the bedroom door where the three children were sleeping, was open much further than we’d left it. I went to close it to about here and then as I got to here, it suddenly slammed and then as I opened it, it was then that I just thought, I’ll just look at the children and I could see S and A in the cot and then I was looking at M’s bed which was here and it was dark and I was looking and I was thinking, is that M or is that the bedding. and I couldn’t quite make her out. It sounds really stupid now, but at the time, I was thinking I didn’t want to put the light on cos I didn’t wanna wake them and literally, as I went back in, the curtains of the bedroom which were drawn,… were closed, … whoosh … It was like a gust of wind, kinda, just blew them open and cuddle cat was still there and her pink blanket was still there and then I knew straight away that she had, er, been taken, you know.
Kate McCann in C4 Cutting Edge documentary - Madeleine was here, april 2008

At 10pm, Kate went to check on the children. She went into the apartment, using her key and saw that the bedroom door was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open. The doors were locked except the one at the back as already noted above.
Gerry McCann, in a statement to the Policia Judiciária, may 4th, 2007

At around 10pm, the interviewee went to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed. She noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.
Kate McCann, in a statement to the Policia Judiciária, may 4th, 2007

Regarding the apartment: windows were closed but she doesn’t know if they were locked. Verandah window closed but not locked, curtains closed. The second window in the living room was probably closed, she did not touch it and does not know if the blinds were closed. The kitchen window was probably closed but with the blinds open as there was light in the kitchen.
The window in Madeleine’s room remained closed, but she doesn’t know if it was locked, blinds and curtains drawn. The window remained like this since the first day, night and day. She never opened it. If somebody saw the window blinds in Madeleine’s room open, it was not Kate who opened them, she never saw them open.
Kate McCann, in a statement to the Policia Judiciária, September 6th, 2007

Related: Index of Official Files & Statements
Discussion at the 3 arguidos: Joana Morais blog: 'A sickening breeze'

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