According to the McCanns, this is the last photo of Madeleine – taken hours before she was snatched, on the day she was snatched: May 3rd, 2007.
But it’s more likely this is the first photo taken at Praia da Luz of the little girl on holiday. In other words, it was probably taken on April 28th within a few minutes of their arrival from the airport, or the next day, April 29th, at the latest.
If the last photo is fake, why is it fake? There are a few reasons why this photo may be chosen as the “last photo”. The most important is that Madeleine appears happy. It’s a “happy family photo”. If this photo wasn’t taken at the end of the holiday, then it suggests there weren’t photos of Madeleine later on in the trip where she appeared happy, or in a “holiday” setting. This would in turn raise worrying possibilities – that for whatever reason, the children, the family, weren’t getting along as well as they should. And this in turn might turn into concern about things like sleeping habits, the child’s behaviour, discipline and the possibility of parents sedating their children at night.
All of these, incidentally, were issues raised by the Portuguese cops.
So the Last Photo is a big deal. If the Last Photo isn’t what it purports to be, what else is a misdirection?
I’m not convinced Gerry is wearing the same shirt at the Ocean Club pool as he was on the bus. The tone is slightly greyer and lighter, and the sleeves seem more creased. It’s not impossible though.
Madeleine [and Amelie] have clearly changed their clothing from what they wore on the flight from East Midlands Airport:
But the aspect I want to highlight is the most obvious. Why are the skins of all three people in this image so pink?
If the McCanns arrived on April 28th, then this image was taken on Day 6 of their holiday. It sure doesn’t look like they’ve been on holiday in the Algarve for 6 days, does it?
I traveled to Praia da Luz this year, arriving on the night of May 1st. By the end of Day 1 I’d already gotten a hectic sunburn to my neck and arms. The skin wasn’t merely a tone or two darker, it had actually burned red on the first day. This was despite flying in from South Africa, at the end of a summer there.
Although I’d brought a cap for the sun, and the weather in early May in the Algarve is fairly mild, a few days later I bought a wide-brimmed straw hat [I still have it] and Factor 50 sunblock. In no time at all I’d developed a sandal tan on my feet, and a short sleeve tan. Though the nights are chilly the days in early May can be warm, and if one lounges in the sun, the sun can be blazing hot.
The three individuals pictured above look as though they’ve just arrived in Praia da Luz. They look as if its’s their first day in the sun, and the first time at the pool.
When I arrived the first thing I said to a guest on the first morning [she had come from the pool] was: ‘Is the water warm?’ Her answer: ‘Are you kidding?’