MADDIE MC CANN CASE

Analysis of the first interview of Gerald and Kate Mc CANN
May 25, 2007


Context of the video: This is a real international "cold case". It hit the headlines everywhere in the world; thousands of people were interviewed. The case remains open. Many gray areas remain, confirmed by contradictions in some key statements. Many theories have emerged, especially on the Net. To date, 12.4 million euros have been spent for this investigation. Four days ago, The Mirror featured the latest Scotland Yard track: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/madeleine-mccann-cops-re-examine-13640983

The girl, almost 4 years old, had disappeared from her room on May 3, 2007, in the small seaside resort of Praia da Luz in the south of Portugal, where she was staying on vacation with her family. That night, Gerry (Gerald) and Kate McCann, the parents of Maddie (Madeleine), went out for dinner with friends by the pool of their Ocean Club hotel. They had slept Maddie and her two little twin brothers in the bedroom of their apartment on the ground floor. It was 10pm, when returning from dinner, that the parents noticed the absence of their daughter.


For more details on this case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Madeleine_McCann

We will have no bias, nor will we advance hypotheses or theory regarding the couple's involvement or not in the disappearance of their daughter Maddie.

It is important to note that this interview is the first one the couple has given since the disappearance of their daughter. Maddie vanished on May 3rd; this interview takes place on May 25, 2007. Two interviews were recorded on the same day in their Ocean Resort apartment. One by Jane Hill for the BBC and the other by Ian Woods for SKYNEWS. Between the two interviews, we chose the BBC one with Jane Hill, simply because this one was filmed with a better image quality and with interesting close-ups.

As a first step, Gerald (Gerry) and Kate McCann have different headlines, as shown in the screenshot below.

It is deduced that Gerry is rather in critical listening, sometimes even aggressive. Kate has a head axis indicating rather bond and empathy.

Gerry's speaking time and the one of Kate are not balanced, as Gerry speaks 50% more than his wife. Besides, his body language is richer and therefore particularly interesting in our present analysis.

Therefore, from now on, we will focus more on Gerry's non-verbal communication.




Full video with english subtitles (13 minutes 54 seconds) :


An interview under the sign of the unsaid and stress:

Note also that Gerry McCann has for example in the following 7 videos strong items of emotional stress and unspoken language. This can be puzzling considering the fact that as a father of a missing girl for 3 weeks it would have been more logical for him to be in a state of sadness and questioning about the progress of the investigation and in the awaiting progress on what may have happened to Maddie.

You are invited to watch these videos watching especially his mouth and swallowing.

  • Strong swallowing, or dysphagia , is often due to the effect of significant stress. As a result of this stress, the air column tightens and makes it more difficult for normal saliva to go through.
  • The tongue that comes out quickly in the middle indicates unspoken words.
  • The mouth stretching on both sides reveals stress (when it's not a smile, of course)
  • The chewing that Gerry performs many times during this interview correspond to elements of unspoken

It's interesting to note that Gerry McCann often performs the 4 at the same time and 7 times in 13 minutes.


Here are the 7 videos, accompanied by tables in which we have identified the items to watch in these videos and their meanings:

Video 1 : « How are you bearing up ? » (15 seconds)
Clenched mouth (1) STRESS
Chewing (1) NON-DITS
Tongue (unspoken) (1) UNSPOKEN
Swallowing (1) STRESS
stretched mouth (1) STRESS
Video 2 : SEARCHING (9 seconds)
Swallowing (1) STRESS
Chewing (1) UNSPOKEN
Tongue (unspoken) (1) UNSPOKEN
Video 3 : POLICE INVESTIGATION (9 seconds)
Chewing (1) UNSPOKEN
Clenched mouth (1) STRESS
Deep breath (1) STRESS


Video 4 : POLICE INVESTIGATION (9 seconds)
Chewing (1) UNSPOKEN
Tongue (unspoken) (2) UNSPOKEN
Clenched mouth (1) STRESS
Left shoulder (1) EMOTIONAL STRESS
Deep breath (1) STRESS
Head axis (1) AGGRESSIVENESS




Video 5 : CHILDREN WITHOUT SURVEILLANCE (50 seconds)
Chewing (3) UNSPOKEN
Tongue (unspoken) (1) UNSPOKEN
Swallowing (7) STRESS
Clenched mouth (3) STRESS
Head axis (protection) (1) SELF CONTROL
Deep breath (1) STRESS
Head axis (aggressiveness) (1) AGGRESSIVENESS
Closed face, frowning eyebrows (30% of the video) SELF CONTROL
Video 6 : MADDIE (9 seconds)
Chewing (1) UNSPOKEN
Tongue (1) UNSPOKEN







Video 7 : interruption before last question (45 seconds)
Chewing (5) UNSPOKEN
Tongue (4) UNSPOKEN
Clenched mouth (3) STRESS
Right shoulder (1) PERFORMANCE
Deep breath (1) STRESS
Head axis (aggressiveness) (1) AGGRESSIVENESS
Head axis (listen with a feeling of superiority) (1) SELF CONTROL
« go » nudge (1) PERFORMANCE
Tense face (2) STRESS and SELF CONTROL
Jerky breathing STRESS

Question :
Why do we find so many body signs of stress, unspoken, control and performance in 7 video extracts?
All the more as the couple was at the initiative of this journalistic interview.

The McCann couple initiated these first two interviews. It was a way for them to address the supposed abductor of their daughter Maddie while communicating the address of a website and phone numbers to encourage enlightening testimonials for the investigation.

Significant body signs of control, stress and performance:

The couple is throughout these 13 minutes in total control.

The 7th video is the most significant:

Jane Hill stops the interview, but receives a final question in her in-ear headset. Gerry and Kate relax completely, changing position on the couch, Kate grimaces 2 times with his tongue. And at the second they understand that there will be another question, they return to the control position. Gerry even shows aggressiveness and performance items in addition to those of unspoken and stress mentioned above:

When they evoke a subject other than the one properly related to the current investigation, to know how their twins have been doing for 3 weeks, the couple is very relaxed, almost in laughter whereas their daughter has been missing for more than 3 weeks.

And the stress and control items reappear at 00:18 when Gerry recalls the current investigation.

It is also interesting to note in this excerpt how much Gerry looks (too) fixed towards the journalist when he expresses his determination twice, whereas these fixations are preceded and followed by looks in the void.

We are again in an example of body language control, and therefore a lack of body authenticity.

Kate's lapsus

Note that Kate has an emotional sadness when she expresses the fact that she does not think of returning to England without Madeleine (Maddie) and a joyful emotion when she talks about the lives of her twins in the Resort.

Moreover Kate makes a surprising slip: "no plans at all to go home WITH Madeleine…. WITHOUT Madeleine". At the moment of this slip, Kate has a strong swallowing (item of strong stress) and keeps a frozen face while trying to hide his discomfort.

It is always interesting to note the ability of some people to go from one strong emotion to another totally opposite in 1 or 2 second(s). This is the case of Kate, in this excerpt. She is very animated after a moment of control, probably feeling sadness too. Then, after evoking her twins with joviality, returns to an attitude of control when questions of the disappearance of Maddie come back again:


This excerpt is, for us, the only one from these 13 minutes of interview where the couple is not in control, stress or performance; and indeed, rather in authenticity.

Question :
while this interview should show their sadness, their hope to find Madeleine and call for testimonials, why are there in this 13 minutes long video, only two minutes when the couple shows signs of body language that look authentic and congruent?

The emotional duality of Gerry :

In rare moments, it is possible to read two emotions at the same time on a person's face.

It is then the juxtaposition of:

  • an overlying emotion (right face): the emotion that one wishes to make accredit to the other
  • an underlying emotion (left face): the emotion authentically felt

One example is Susan Smith who, on October 25, 1994, killed her two sons, but accuses a man she describes as being an African-American kidnapping them during a carjacking. In an interview, from which are extracted the photos below, she asks the alleged abductor to give her 2 children back...
Susan Smith was sentenced to life for the murder of her 2 sons with a 30-year security sentence.

Here is a relevant example of emotional duality:

Overlying emotion

SADNESS


The one that we seek to accredit to the other

Sadness she exposes to reporters during her plea to the abductor to return her children

Underlying emotion

HAPPINESS- SATISFACTION


the emotion authentically felt

Susan Smith had killed her children thinking that her lover had left her because she was a mother. By killing them, she thought she could win him back


Gerry made, during this first interview, several times demonstrations of this type of emotional duplicity.

Given his head axis and the angle plane of the camera on the left side of Gerry's face is often not very visible.

But here is an example of a juxtaposition of two contradictory emotions evoking the details of the current investigation:

Overlying emotion

SADNESS/ANGER


The one that we seek to accredit to the other

Underlying emotion

SATISFACTION


the emotion authentically felt

Question :
Why this emotional duality
when mentioning the details of the investigation?

It is therefore surprising to note in these 13 minutes of interview as many items both strong and recurring:

  • self control
  • unspoken
  • stress
  • performance
  • aggressiveness
  • duality
while the 2 interviews of this day of May 25, 2007 (with SKYNEWS and the BBC) are at the initiative of the couple, we only saw one minute of real body authenticity, either with Gerry or Kate, which represents 8% of the video, when they mentioned their 17-month-old twins Sean and Amelie.

This lack of bodily authenticity remains questioning especially since the journalist Jane Hill was rather very kind with the couple, with a real empathy.

There seems to be no contextual reasons for this lack of coherence between the verbatim (words spoken) and the non-verbal communication of the couple.