Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Friends, family: McCanns struggled to have kids
Editor's note: This is an early look at a story that will be featured in tonight's program.

ROTHLEY, England -- Before Kate and Gerry McCann became known as the parents of a missing 4-year-old girl named Madeleine, they were simply a pair of doctors with three kids: Madeleine and twins Amelie and Shawn.

Gerry McCann loved golf. Kate McCann was a working mom with dreams of a large family. Gerry McCann's boss and golfing buddy, Dr. Doug Skehan, said their lives were picture perfect.

"One has to say they had everything you would want for," he told CNN. "They'd got into medicine and been successful. They were able to rise to good positions. They have a family and a settled situation and suddenly everything is turned into a nightmare."

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-- By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 12:47 PM ET
  12 Comments
I am glad 360 decided to still do this story!

I have no idea if the McCann's had anything to do with their daughter's disappearance or not! But it was a bad decision on them to leave their kids unattended for any amount of time!! No matter how many times they checked in on them!

I am really looking forward to tonight's reports from Randi and Gary! This case really interests me! Thanks 360 for covering it!

Nothing could be worse then last night's fiasco! LOL

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 1:09 PM ET
Dear Randi,

Hello, thank you kindly for addressing the McCann story, as it is on our minds a lot. My heart goes out to them during this extremely traumatic time in their lives. It’s hard enough to go through tragedy – it’s even more painful to go through it with scrutiny and people jumping to conclusions. Or even blaming them. I’m sure they are ‘beating themselves’ up enough already.

From sad experience I have learned we simply cannot jump to conclusions until ALL the facts come to light.

My dear dad worked as an Air Traffic Controller for many decades. One year his fellow controller colleague suffered a severe tragedy. I knew this dear man too. His name was Ted C., a very quiet and shy man, probably in his 50’s or maybe early 60’s. I deeply respected him as he was always so kind to me, and always a true gentleman.

One year he and his wife went to stay at their summer cottage here in the Maritimes. It’s hard for me to remember all the details, as it was so long ago, but one stormy rainy night she left the house and never came home. It was a big news event here. A police investigation began. Ted told the police his wife had left the house in the evening to go into town to get groceries or something and it had been a very rainy night and she never returned home.

As time went on and on with no sign of her rumors began, and people were whispering. Some thought maybe she ran away with another man. Others out rightly branding him a “murderer”. It was so awful.

He had to go on stress leave from work. My dad never stopped believing in him, and would often phone Ted to give him comfort and encouragement, kindly urging Ted to never give up hope and to never underestimate the power of prayer.

One day we heard he was in the hospital. He had terminal cancer. My mother and I went to visit him. It was such a pitiful sight. His body trembled all over. He was so thin and pale. A tray of untouched food was in front on him. He could not eat. We felt such pity for him and asked him what he felt he could eat. He could barely talk above a whisper, but we finally heard the word: “Salad”.We immediately left and brought him back a Greek Salad, insisting that he take in a little bit of nourishment.

I remember feeling the compelling need to hug him and he began to weep uncontrollably. I can barely write about it. He was a broken man.

It was the last time we ever saw him…

Within a few months, the heartbreaking mystery was solved. One day the sea tides receded just enough to reveal a car upside down crashed below upon the rocky seaside cliffs. Ted C. wife had been found. Investigators concluded that it was a tragic accident.

Sadly Ted C. had already died, a broken man, grief stricken after being branded as a “murderer.” It broke our hearts.

Thinking of the McCann family now….after this tragic experience I just described, it left an enduring impression upon me to never ever judge situations too quickly without all the facts. I’m so grateful to my dear dad for helping to teach me this lesson. I feel I must believe the best, until absolutely proven otherwise.

I kindly continue to keep Gerry & Kate McCann and their family in my heartfelt prayers, and send them a gentle hug. Some time ago I wrote them a note of support and want them to know that nothing has changed. I hope and pray that they find their dear little Madeleine and I’m sorry for what they are going through.

Thank you kindly Randi, we will definitely be watching your piece tonight..

In appreciation,
AretiGina by the sea in Canada

Life is beautiful.......“I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.” Rudyard Kipling
Posted By Anonymous : 1:56 PM ET
At this point in time, it's impossible to say for sure whether the McCanns are involved in their daughter's disappearance.

But they have definitely made some bad decisions concerning the safety of their children. First, the children should have never been left alone without adult supervision. And second, if your child went missing in a foreign country, would you leave and return home?
Posted By Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 2:17 PM ET
I'm glad you have decided to cover this story. I have personally found it to be an odd story at that. I don't know anyone (or at least a decent person) that would leave their VERY young children alone while they went to dinner. Especially on a vacation! It's not like they had a neighbour that could pop in and check on the kids while they were on holiday in Portugal.

Either way I hope that Kate did not in fact have any part in whatever happened to Madeleine. I know young kids can be frustrating. I'm a single mother of a three year old so I know it all to well. But I would NEVER hurt my child. I'm hoping that she would feel the same and all of the tabloid talk about her being "overwhelmed" to the point of possibly killing her child will prove untrue.

I feel that the Portuguese police may be grasping at straws as they have no firm leads. I would like to see this "evidence" that they have against the parents. I have heard rumours but am not clear on what is true or not. I can't wait to see your show tonight (well tomorrow for me while I'm working out at 5 AM!).
Posted By Tiffany S-T, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada : 2:20 PM ET
I hope and pray that the parent's of Madeleine McCann wasn't involved in the kidnapping - hope they find the little girl alive. My heart goes out to Madeleine everytime I see a child missing it breaks my heart.

Jennifer - From Anderson, South Carolina
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 2:25 PM ET
I have to say I am very dissappointed. You spent months following Warren Jeffs and now the trial is in full swing, you barely give it a mention. Yesterday, they really went after Jane Doe. She seems to have held up well. However, I am relying on local news which often has a politically motivated slant. I understand the interest in the McCann story, but please send Gary or Randi back to Utah to check in on the Jeff's story. Amazingly, some of the followers have actually spoken to local reporters. While you are here you could also be one of those programs that dosen't just move on by giving us an update on the Crandall mine disaster. There was a very touching article in the Catholic news about the memorials held by the families. Thanks for letting me offer my two cents. P.S. no more OJ PLEASE!

Em
SLC, Utah
Posted By Anonymous : 2:27 PM ET
What a sad turn of events. It's unfathomable to me that parents now-a-days can be accused of such horrific crimes. The terrible thing is that most of them end up guilty.
Posted By Thomas, Ann Arbor, MI : 2:32 PM ET
The behavior of the McCann's in leaving their small children alone and unattended to in a hotel room is irresponsible and absurd. I think that they are suspects for obvious reasons. If the girl had been kidnapped by someone who was looking to sell her in the black market or sex trade, why then would the individual not also take Amelie and Shawn? Why only Madeleine? Looking forward to seeing what information AC 360 will have on the show tonight!
Posted By Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 2:34 PM ET
how about a lie detector test...If I was a suspect...and innocent...it would be something I would jump at the chance to do...and get everybodys focus on finding my child
Posted By Anonymous : 2:40 PM ET
I hope and pray that the parent's of Madeleine McCann wasn't involved in the kidnapping. Hope they find the little girl alive my heart goes out to Madeleine - everytime I see a child missing it breaks my heart.

Jennifer - From Anderson, South Carolina.
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 3:02 PM ET
Let this be a lesson to all parents that they should never leave their small children alone, anywhere, whether at home or in a foreign country. Someone should always be watching them, whether it's themselves, a relative, or a baby sitter. You just never know these days.

That said, what's done is done and the focus should be on the search for Madeleine. At this point, lots of prayers and good thoughts are what the McCanns need. They certainly have mine.

Peace,
Lilibeth
Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, Washington : 11:52 AM ET
Since there has not been much information on the investigation of baby Madeleine, I can't help wondering how much time was spent interviewing the day care people at the resort. Not that they would directly be to blame but someone close to them because they would have seen the child and know where she lived.
I hope and pray they are still pursuing the REAL criminal.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:26 PM ET
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