Madeleine McCann was abducted by traffickers and could still be alive, claims new documentary
The documentary, which will feature eight hour-long episodes, will air on the streaming platform on Friday, March 15.
The disappearance of a then-three-year-old Madeleine McCann from her bed in an apartment in the Algarve region of Portugal where she was holidaying with her parents in May 2007, sparked what has been dubbed as "the most heavily-reported missing person case in modern history." Netflix's long-awaited documentary on the same will finally hit screens this week, and reportedly contains some bombshell claims, including one which suggests the girl is still alive.
According to The Guardian, Netflix first commissioned 'The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann', which features eight hour-long episodes, in 2017 following the success of 'Making a Murderer' but saw the release repeatedly delayed because of numerous issues.
There was also resistance from Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, who refused to take part in the show and urged those around them to rebuff Pulse Films, who are making the docuseries for Netflix.
"Kate and Gerry and their wider family and friends were approached some months ago to participate in the documentary," confirmed family spokesman Clarence Mitchell. "Kate and Gerry didn’t ask for it and don’t see how it will help the search for Maddie on a practical level, so they chose not to engage."
However, it is still set to feature interviews with more than 40 individuals, including journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, who wrote a book on the case, child protection experts Jim Gamble and Ernie Allan, Brian Kennedy, the millionaire businessman who helped fund the initial search for Madeleine, and also former suspects such as Robert Murat and Sergey Malinka.
Daily Mail revealed that Gamble insisted in the docuseries that Madeleine would be found. "I absolutely believe that in my lifetime we will find out what has happened to Madeleine McCann," he was quoted saying. "There's huge hope to be had with the advances in technology. Year on year DNA is getting better. Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better. And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there's every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position."
Other experts who made an appearance also said there was a chance Madeleine could still be alive, but only because she was financially valuable as a "middle-class British girl" to traffickers, and that she would fetch them a lot more money compared to the third-world children normally kidnapped.
Controversially, the docuseries features an interview with Portuguese detective Gonçalo Amaral, who was in charge of the initial investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, and with whom Kate and Gerry locked in a libel lawsuit concerning his 2008 book 'Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira' (Maddie: The Truth of the Lie).
Amaral speculated in the book that Madeleine died in an accident at the apartment or was given an overdose of sedatives and that Kate and Gerry faked an abduction to cover it up.
In response, the parents said the officer was a "self-obsessed, manipulative money-grabber." Speaking about Amaral's appearance on the show, a friend of the family said, "Kate and Gerry will be mortified and horrified to learn that one of the lead roles has gone to Mr. Amaral who has caused them so much extra hurt and pain over the years. He has been a thorn in their sides since the very beginning."
The documentary, which reportedly cost more than £1 million ($1.33 million) for each hour-long episode, is set to premiere on Netflix on Friday, March 15.
Watch the trailer for 'The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann' here: