Shocking new evidence Madeleine McCanns suspected killer revealed 60 Minutes Australia


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[Music] [Music] [Applause] if innocence has a face then surely it is madeleine mccann's since the night she disappeared her anguished but unbroken parents kate and jerry have never let the world forget their daughter please please do not hesitate please don't scare her but the evil that befill maddie may now have a name christian bruckner good evening i'm liz hayes in recent criminal history there is no mystery more heartbreaking or baffling than what happened to madeleine mccann police forces in three countries have spent 13 years and tens of millions of dollars searching for a breakthrough without even the barest glimmer of hope but now that breakthrough appears to have come in the most dramatic way in recent weeks police in germany and portugal have searched sites where sex predator christian bruckner is known to have operated i see a lot of clues and a lot of evidence that he is a psychopath who has an escalating fantasy of violence which finally maybe ended in abducting and killing maddie mcanias tonight experts trace bruckner's criminal history through portugal living a stone's throw from where madeleine was taken his menacing bolt hole in germany where he buried damning evidence of his crimes beneath the body of his dead dog and exclusive police records of an alleged pedophile chat room revealing his depraved and criminal mind who doesn't want to catch something small and use it for days i will document exactly how they will be tortured we'll follow bruckner's trail of shocking crimes expose the bungles incompetence and at times incredible luck that may have let a psychopath escape in the critical first 48 hours there were a lot of blunders and a lot of mistakes but we also reveal the extraordinary breakthroughs that could finally bring justice to a little girl forever lost i think that this is the strongest lead i've ever seen since the first beginning of this investigation you can place christian bruckner at the scene yes we think so we have enough evidence to say our suspect killed mel mccann tonight cracking the case of maddie and the monster [Music] it is the night of may the third 3rd 2007 apartment 5a on the ground floor of the ocean club resort in prague deluge it is where british doctors kate and jerry mccann have been staying for nearly a week with their young children including three-year-old daughter madeleine they joined friends for dinner at a tapas bar within the resort complex just a short distance from their apartment having earlier checked their children a number of times at around 10 pm kate mccann again goes back to the room she finds maddie missing and the ground floor window open [Music] so begins an unimaginable nightmare for jerry and kate mccann please tell us where to find her or put her in a place of safety and let somebody know where she is [Music] the distress the her family and her parents and i think that touched everybody's hearts former head of homicide at scotland yard simon foy was a member of operation grange the uk investigation into maddie's disappearance and the thing just grew and grew and grew and in the midst of that the portuguese tried to construct an investigation and it's not easy in those circumstances the disappearance of little maddie mccann electrified the community of prague deluge hundreds of local people joined the search for her as their mayor hugo pereira remembers they worked tirelessly together with the authorities joining in the desperate search to find the child they spared no efforts in the following days to try to find money the portuguese people did all they could but the portuguese police hopelessly divided between three different forces committed grave mistakes that would compromise the investigation from the very beginning if it's not solved in the first two days it's very likely that this is going to be a cold case forever criminal profiler mark hoffman suspects maddie's abductor escaped amidst the confusion at the ocean club and surrounding prague deluge the first 48 hours after murder or abduction these are the golden hours for the police or law enforcement to solve this crime the police chosen for the ground search were not trained for the job they were essentially security guards portuguese police they were not used to this kind of cases and to this to to the amount in size that this case would grow into in prague deluge kai feldhaus heading up the investigative unit of germany's build magazine watched as the chaos unfolded in the critical first 48 hours there were a lot of blunders and a lot of mistakes too many people were running in and out of this apartment too many people were bringing their dna into the place where they were supposed to look for other dna the mccann's apartment was not forensically sealed unbelievably it was cleaned and rented again before dna samples were taken and dna that might have still been there was potentially contaminated by police dogs taken into the apartment [Music] this was the worst investigation criminal university investigation because all the samples were contaminated crime reporter for portuguese tv sandra filgeris was at the scene on the first day of madeleine's disappearance the dogs that were sent to the flat to look after madeleine were sent before the forensic so the most part of the samples that were collected and they were more than 600 they were made of dark things [Music] what no one knew at the time least of all the local police was that just over a kilometer from where madeleine disappeared lived a monster christian bruckner a sex predator who'd raped a young girl in germany and who then fled to portugal where he'd raped an elderly woman in prague deluge just two years earlier it's really important to understand that many child molesters are not pedophiles mark hoffman says that from the moment three-year-old madeline mccann arrived in bruckner's domain she was as much a target as his elderly victim they like to abduct easy victims and if you ask me elderly women and children this is not a contradiction this is one of the biggest similarities [Music] at the time of maddie's disappearance portugal did not have a sex offender registry but authorities there were made aware of christian bruckner's history the year before while facing a local court on theft charges bruckner told the portuguese judge he had a criminal record for child sex offenses in germany [Music] is it correct that he made an admission to the court about his criminal past yes it's very true it's very true he admitted that he did commit a felony of evolving sexual offenses public defender seraphim vieira represented bruckner in 2006 intriguingly bruckner also told the court he had no home address in portugal despite having already lived there for more than 10 years [Music] i believe that at the time the sexual offense that he was convicted didn't appear in his criminal record in portugal for one simple matter he was not a resident in portugal therefore there was no trace of his past rather than reveal his residence bruckner chose instead to stay in prison a term that lasted eight months he said nobody can know about that address bruckner called to a friend a german friend from the prison and he asked that friend to go to that house to take all the computers and pen drives and cameras that he had there whatever bruckner was hiding there was never found he was released from prison in december 2006 and returned to pra deluge just months before madeleine mccann was taken he was a a convicted child molester when madeline mccann disappeared right and he never got into focus so how can it be that there's a convicted child molester living close by close proximity few kilometers and it was like the first but not by far not the last mistake that has been made within days of madeleine mccann's disappearance christian bruckner slipped out of portugal and headed for germany a monster no one knew on the move 60 minutes presents with liz june 4th 2020 after 13 years that have baffled police investigators in the uk and portugal german authorities make a stunning announcement in the case of madeleine mccann the public prosecutor's office is investigating a 43 year old german national on suspicion of murder we are assuming that the girl is dead their suspect is 43 year old christian bruckner a sex offender currently in a german prison for the rape of a 72 year old woman question b i mean he is the serial offender in many past cases he was criminal and he was in prison and he did it again and again and again and again 17 or 18 times it's 1995 and 19 year old christian bruckner arrives in the portuguese coastal town of pra deluge he lives in this house just over a kilometer from a resort called the ocean club in time it will become one of the world's most infamous crime scenes bruckner comes here seeking a safe haven fleeing germany where two years before he was convicted for the sexual assault of a young girl he was 17 years old he raped a child he got the sentence and then he escaped from germany and he came to portugal when you talk to this to these people that knew christian brooklyn at that time they all qualify him as a disturbed man that had strange behaviors that no one understood very well in the years that followed bruckner made his living as a small time drug dealer and thief he was a criminal he was responsible for more than 20 burglaries in the same area in prior duluth bruckner's targets were holiday homes and hotels he was always looking for houses with the same description of ocean club where madeleine went missing it was always going to the first floor to windows that were easy to open but beneath the mask of a petty criminal looked unimaginable evil yeah when i look at his criminal records i see a lot of crimes but i see clearly two categories of crimes financially motivated crimes but he also had a darker side he walked into violence and torture and rape against vulnerable weak easy victims stalking the coastal roads and tourist resorts we now know bruckner wasn't just looking for houses and apartments to rob he was also hunting for victims and in 2005 he struck it was a truly awful crime the rape of a 72 year old woman this is not just rape this is one of the most brutal ways of rape which are possible bruckner broke into his elderly victim's house and over a period of hours tortured and sexually assaulted her inflicting extreme cruelty according to police files that included beating her with a metal rod the accused forced the naked bound and gagged woman to stand up and beat her repeatedly on her chest lower abdomen arms and buttocks with a metal object he had brought with him the attack revealed bruckner targeted victims of any age from children to the elderly as long as he deemed them to be weak and vulnerable and in what became his hallmark as a psychopath he videotaped the entire assault the video though would eventually be his undoing it's about violence it's about playing god it's about power it's about dominance this is not just about sex or rape this is about torture local police investigated but the case went nowhere an opportunity that could have alerted this sleepy community to a monster on the prowl was lost the victim felt ashamed and too afraid to tell even her friends she didn't talk about her being raped to anyone [Music] but was this elderly woman bruckner's first victim in portugal unnervingly similar was the terrible ordeal suffered by young irish woman hazel bihan [Music] in 2004 she was raped in her ground floor apartment near pradeluge by an attacker she described as being young and german and who also filmed the attack two violent assaults within two years both bearing the same hallmarks of a psychopath [Music] then on may the third 3rd 2007 in the same small corner of portugal the little girl whose face would haunt the world disappeared from the ocean club a stone's throw from where christian bruckner was living [Music] 60 minutes presents with liz hayes how's it going bed with me one took a little girl it is 2013 six years after madeleine mccann's disappearance these are the words of christian bruckner now the prime suspect in her abduction allegedly in a pedophile chat room catch something small and use it for days oh if the evidence is destroyed afterwards i will document exactly how they will be tortured well let's see not only talking but also doing it if i look at his life and his criminal records he's quite clear about his fantasy about abducting torturing and fighting children to to name it and this could be a serial killer in the making and this absolutely is a red flag yes to mark hoffman christian bruckner absolutely fits the profile of a psychopath a psychopath who in 2007 lived just over a kilometer from the resort where madeleine was abducted and close to where he brutally raped a 72 year old woman and videotaped his crime in reality they don't start with like murder or rape and this is sometimes the end of a long process of an escalating fantasy because if you think about it murder or homicide is like the purest form of domination because they choose if the victims live or die they play god christian bruckner left portugal in 2007 during the desperate early search for madeleine mccann the dark pieces of his life were assembled from incidents crimes and evidence that remained unconnected the new day of searching has now begun until german investigators finally joined the dots this year there are forensic police here police with ground penetrating radar and also police divers after bolting from portugal bruckner moved first to the german city of brunswick an insider who knew him speaking anonymously says for years he ran a kiosk next to a kindergarten yes kindergarten there's a kindergarten and a junior school next door they spent their pocket money on streets here he gave the kids lollies for free [Music] bruckner has a string of girlfriends always very young charming on the outside but says a neighbor he is brutal with his teenage lovers he was very bad with women if they didn't do what he wants he just hits him as i learned from his ex-girlfriend she had once shown me that she had strangulation marks on her neck that he had struggled that's it violence in the relationships absolutely typical for psychopath and absolutely typical for people with profile of christian be but even more chilling bruckner's friend says he talked of creating a dungeon in this his rented cottage just like the one austrian pedophile joseph fritzel used to imprison and abuse his daughter for 24 years that one with the blue roof he lived there he had a cellar and he said he wanted to line it with heavy plates like the guy in austria and searches by german police in july this year did indeed uncover a hidden seller in a property bruckner once owned may 2015 almost eight years to the day from when madeleine mccann went missing another little girl in gergerich disappeared the location was just two hours drive from where bruckner was living a dark van similar to the one he owned at the time was seen leaving the abduction site but inga was never found her case and many others are now being re-examined i think that there are more victims of our suspect of other crime but do you fear that you are dealing with a serial killer i don't know i don't know um [Music] i'm not i'm not able to to to judge this on june the 4th this year prosecutor walters announced bruckner was the prime suspect in maddy mccann's abduction and probable murder do you have irrefutable evidence that madeleine mccann is dead we have strong evidence that melanie mckenna's death and that our suspect killed her but i'm not allowed and i'm not able at the moment to tell you all the details of our evidence you don't have a body obviously yes we don't have the body and no parts of the body but we have enough evidence to say our suspect killed mel mccann and can i ask you this how long ago did you realize that madeleine mccann was dead it was some time in the last two years when we realized that she's dead whatever is fueling the certainty of german prosecutors now it began with kate and jerry mccann and their unflagging appeal to the public for information [Music] in the years following maddie's disappearance the mccanns appeared twice on german tv and each time there were tip-offs the first in 2013 just the name christian bruckner it put him on the police radar and inquiries began one of the bigger mistakes that has been made was that after kate and jerry mccann came to a german tv show and after this show where they were showing an e-fit of a person that was seen around the ocean club at the night of the disappearance apparently there was a hint from a viewer said this if it reminds me a lot of a person i know a german who was living there in the area who was living in a camper bus this could very well be him leading his team for germany's build magazine kai felt house recalls the moment in 2013 when bruckner was identified by a viewer and the astonishing blunder that followed when police inadvertently alerted bruckner that he was a suspect and then maybe the major mistake investigation happened that the local police sent a letter to christian b asking him uh to show up as a witness at the police station and tell him about what he knows about the disappearance of medley mccann he was alerted that he might be might be involved in this in this crime case it was a serious error bruckner realised he was in police sites as he told friends one day i went to the kiosk and he was distressed and said look what i've just got and showed me the police letter about madeleine mccain bruckner never did show up for the police but in 2015 they uncovered a dark clue investigators learned he owned this deserted factory in a remote location searching it they made a grim discovery hard drives and usb sticks hidden in a plastic bag buried with his dog on the property of christian b they they found material which according to the current information is like 8 000 pieces videos and pictures and this is quite typical for these kind of offenders they are filming what they do and sometimes they are fantasizing about their crimes every day and every night over and over and over and over again bruckner's lair revealed many secrets and not just his ghastly buried trove of videos there was more and over there was where his american camper was parked 10 meters long [Music] in his camper van police discovered the swimsuits of little girls in 2017 kate and jerry mccann's german tv interview was replayed on the 10th anniversary of maddie's disappearance this time the public response brought gold eyewitness reports that bruckner made a drunken confession about maddie mccann reports too that friends saw the video of bruckner's appalling rape of an elderly woman in portugal in 2005 evidence which would lead to his conviction in that case there's been a couple of witnesses that alerted police and said we have seen video we have seen videos of christian bee raping women with christian bruckner now under investigation kai felthouse believes the story he's been covering for 13 years may be reaching its final chapter i think the suspect who's been named by the german authorities is the most important suspect in this 13 years of um of the story of the disappearance of melanie mccann there has never been a proper suspect but just what is the police evidence in this devastating case of maddie and the monster [Music] 60 minutes presents with liz hayes the public prosecutor's office is investigating a 43 year old german national on suspicion of murder is this the end game in the case of the mysterious disappearance of three-year-old madeleine mccann police teams continue to forensically search properties in portugal and germany looking for evidence involving their prime suspect sex predator christian bruckner i was sitting in a restaurant with friends when my editor phoned me and you know with the editor's phone at 10 pm there's something serious happening i think that this is the strongest lead i've ever seen since the first beginning of this investigation but what is the smoking gun evidence that has convinced german authorities they have their man what you're saying to me is that you can place christian bruckner at the scene yes we think so we know that the phone number which was used by a suspect on the 3rd of may 2007 was connecting in the mast belongs to the ocean club in praia da luz maddie was abducted between 9 and 10 p.m on the night of may the 3rd 2007. in the aftermath portuguese investigators scoured mobile phone logs for the area that night but found nothing the logs were passed on to the uk scotland yard which set up operation grange a special team of officers tasked with finding maddie i speak from personal experience that there was a phenomenal amount of data relating to personal phone so you'd want to look of a pattern of a you know did that individual have a phone number did that phone number appear it's a huge amount of data massive massive amount of data it is the classic haystack into which you're looking for not just a needle but the head of a needle but scotland yards operation grange also failed to find the needle in the mobile phone logs it was the germans who made the breakthrough a phone number traced to someone with a criminal record for child sex offences in their country buried in the data is a single call on may 3 2007 triangulated by police to have been made just outside the ocean club the phone number was christian bruce there has always been speculation that an insider at the tapas bar where the mccanns were having dinner tipped off maddie's abductor [Music] in their reservation entry it was noted the mccanns wanted to eat close to their apartment as they were leaving their young children alone christian brooklyn couldn't have acted alone that was the phone call that he was doing to someone that helped him that night i think that someone must have been implicated it's very difficult to understand he could have done this by himself german prosecutors also discovered that the day after madeleine's disappearance bruckner deregistered the jaguar car he owned and identicated photos based on eyewitnesses at the ocean club revealed a striking similarity to bruckner but perhaps the strongest evidence german prosecutors may have that madeleine is no longer alive is contained in the 8 000 videos they unearthed in his desolate hideaway in germany [Music] i'm quite sure that they have some good evidence it could be videos i mean he was into child pornography and torture and he did crimes against children at a very early age and according to the current information he also filmed his offenses so you can clearly say what happened there he is innocent until proven guilty christian bruckner's defense lawyer frederick forsha is tight-lipped about whether he has even asked his client about madeleine mccann so you don't know if i asked him um the first thing the second thing is if i had asked him i won't tell you his answer because everything the defense lawyer talks with his client is confidential for sure is as strangely cryptic as he claims to be confident in bruckner confident certainly that bruckner will never cooperate with the german prosecutors before my client is cooperating with the prosecutor's office you can order holy water as a long drink in hell whatever the critical new evidence german prosecutors possess including what they may have unearthed in recent days and weeks for now they're keeping it to themselves although prosecutor voltas may have given us a hint we do know that police recovered thousands of files of disturbing pictures and videos that you believe belong to christian brookner is there evidence on those videos of madeleine mccann at the moment i'm not allowed to say if there are pictures or if there are no pictures of madeleine [Music] given the german investigators have said very clearly that they believe madeleine mccann is dead do you accept that they must have significant information my experience of working with the german police is that they are very careful what they say publicly they would have recognized the significance of it they would have recognized the international sensitivity of it and they would probably have recognized the public interest in it and so the fact that they have made that statement is of itself significant [Music] if the german authorities do have video proving madeleine's death together with the mobile phone trace proving bruckner was in the area then evidence from an eyewitness conclusively putting him at the ocean club between 9 and 10 p.m on the night of may 3rd 2007 would be the last piece of the puzzle and for jerry and kate mccann the final terrible truth a truth that may already be known 60 minutes presents with liz every parent of a missing child hopes that their child will be found far away from the events being played out in germany and portugal one mother shares her pain with kate mccain take care kate i was working as a waitress in a local hotel and my mum was looking looking after ben that day it was summer 1991 kerry needham and her beautiful baby son 21 month old ben were living on the greek island of koz where her parents were restoring a house ben was just basically being a normal toddler running in and out of the farmhouse door um playing with his granddad's work tools and things like you know spades and things like that and for a couple of minutes he just didn't come back in the doorway um and my mom just went outside the doorway and just wasn't there there was just no sign of him at all it was like like he'd vanished into thin air really there was no trace of ben and no witnesses then four years ago a tip-off that he may have been accidentally killed by a local man operating a mechanical digger who then buried him in panic but the man has since died and excavations of the site by police proved inconclusive you don't want to think that you know your child's dead after searching for him for all these years um so you know after all them years and and then the police say you know they believe that he died it's very very hard to to accept it's the last thing you think about at night and it's the first thing you think about in the morning and you you're just living um a nightmare that you can't wake up from you and ben have been in my thoughts and prayers many times kerry shares a unique and tragic mother's bond with kate mccann [Music] it is the pain of not knowing what happened to your beloved child and then perhaps the even greater pain of finding out [Music] for 13 years the fate of madeleine mccann has been a single unanswerable question an unresolved case that still causes all touched by it terrible torment i wouldn't like to finish my life without knowing and to have the key to this mystery it's very disturbing for me not only as a journalist as a person i think that everyone every human being should feel the same we we need to know what happened to madeleine [Music] as you've seen tonight german prosecutors in cooperation with portuguese police are building their case against prime suspect christian bruckner soon there may be an answer for madeleine's parents kate and jerry and for all of us no matter how painful that answer may be i'm liz hayes thank you for joining me [Music] hello i'm liz hayes thanks for watching to keep up with the latest from 60 minutes australia make sure you subscribe to our channel you can also download the nine now app for full episodes another exclusive 60 minutes content