quinta-feira, 23 de agosto de 2012

Lady MacBeth e...... a nódoa do pijama de Maddie

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
23 August 2012


"Out, damn'd spot" is a prime example of "Instant Bard," tailor-made for ironic jokes and marketing schemes. But the "spot" isn't a coffee stain, it's blood. One motif of Macbeth is how tough it is to wash, scrub, or soak out nasty bloodstains."
(www.enotes.com/Shakespeare-quotes/damned spot).

On 3 May, during breakfast, Kate McCann 'noticed a stain, supposedly of tea, on Madeleine's pyjama top, which she washed a little later that same morning. She hung it out to dry on a small stand, and it was dry by the afternoon. Madeleine sometimes drank tea; nevertheless the stain did not appear during breakfast, maybe it happened another day, as Madeleine did not have tea the previous night and the stain was dry.' (KM witness statement, 6.9.07).

Whether one favours Kate McCann's 6 September (2007) account, as above, or her more recent version, adapted for 'Madeleine' (they differ in respect of the timing of events), what is puzzling about her decision to wash her daughter's pyjama top is not so much the nature of the stain, as why she bothered to wash the clothing when she did. As Kate herself explains, the 'tea stain,' or whatever it was, was a day or so old. Additionally the soiled top had already been slept in at least once, with no ill effects.

Why, with Madeleine's having three pairs of pyjamas (apparently), and with less than 48 hours of the holiday remaining, should Kate have been so determined to wash the middle pair - the pair that got abducted - but not the first that was later 'thrown' into the back of the scenic, and with a clean pair as yet unused? (see article: 'Dormant Issues,' McCannfiles 29.4.11 ). Stain removal was obviously paramount. Furthermore, how did she know the pyjama top was dry by the afternoon, when she did not return to the apartment until 5.40 that evening, having spent twenty minutes (12.40 - 13.00) in the apartment for lunch not long after she'd actually done the washing? (See article: 'Washed Up?' McCannfiles, 5.1.12).

Kate gets around this last difficulty by changing her story. Instead of :

'When her lesson ended at 10:15, she went to the recreation area next to the swimming pool to talk to Russell until Gerry's lesson was over. Afterwards... they went back together to the apartment'

In Madeleine we read:

"I returned to our apartment before Gerry had finished his tennis lesson and washed and hung out Madeleine's pyjama top on the veranda." ('Madeleine,' p.64)

Thus giving the pyjamas double the drying time. In any event it seems they were dry enough for Madeleine to have worn them again that night.

But that still brings us no nearer to understanding why, with no history of 'wash and wear' that holiday, Kate felt it necessary to wash that pair of pyjamas specifically, coincidentally on the day of Madeleine's disappearance.
Those of a more macabre persuasion would no doubt wish to argue that Kate, like Lady Macbeth, was concerned to eradicate any vestige of biological fluid, e.g., blood, which might be considered incriminating in itself. Hypothetically, if the McCanns, despite their reassurances, were a party to Madeleine's disappearance that Thursday night, then there really ought to have been no need to wash her pyjamas at all, however suspicious the brown stain may have been, since anything untoward as regards stray items of clothing discovered after Madeleine had left the apartment could simply be ascribed to her 'abductor.'

The issue then is why Kate should have elected to wash the visibly soiled half of a pair of pyjamas when she did? Why not simply consign 'Eeyore' to the same metaphorical laundry basket as the first pair (later to be unceremoniously jettisoned in the boot of the car), wash them both on return to the UK, but break out the clean spare pair in the meantime? Unless, of course, there was no clean spare pare. Could she really not bear the thought of Madeleine's wearing a stained pyjama top for just two further nights (she'd slept in it once at least don't forget)? It all seems rather unnecessary; as if the Eeyore pyjamas were actually the only pair available to Madeleine that week. And then, irony of ironies, with Kate having made a special point of washing out a seemingly innocuous stain, the pyjamas are abducted, never to be seen again.
Kate's transient preoccupation with those Eeyore pyjamas may have been indicative of nothing more than a concern for 'keeping up appearances,' although few, if any, outside of Madeleine's immediate family, would have expected to see the garments, clean or dirty. And, if David Payne's testimony is anything to go by, they probably wouldn't have noticed the difference anyway. Kate clearly did not see the day old stain herself when she dressed Madeleine for bed on the Wednesday night. And, if her own suppositions are eventually borne out ('maybe it happened another day'), she may even have had yet further opportunities to record the blemish, without in fact doing so.

The pyjama washing episode was therefore of no real importance (on May 4). Yet it acquired a significance in the meantime, prompting its inclusion in the narrative come September. As we have already seen however, the remaining elements of the story left no time for it to be accomplished, so that, with the publication of 'Madeleine,' Kate has had to create a space in her busy holiday schedule actually to get the job done, contradicting her earlier statement to police in the process.

Some time that Summer therefore it became necessary for Kate McCann to explain why she had washed Madeleine's pyjama top. And with that essential established, it became just as necessary to place herself in the family apartment for the purpose, rather than be out and about, as she had earlier intimated. Kate was doing something in the apartment 'later that morning.' Washing pyjamas as it happens. She was still in the apartment (or back again, before 5.40 p.m.) doing something else, when she realised that the pyjamas were dry.

Kate clearly felt obliged to inject this episode of domestic trivia into both her later police statement and her subsequent, rather different, account of the truth. In what possible way could Madeleine's disappearance have been contingent upon clean pyjamas?