I Kidnapped Madeline McCann

No, I didn’t really kidnap Madeline McCann – just in case Interpol or somebody comes chasing me know, although I doubt that since I doubt anyone is actually going to read this and some Interpol chiefs like Jackie Selebi don’t exactly give a good name to the organisation.

For some reason, I just randomly thought of her disappearance today and immediately thought that whoever kidnapped her (if she really was kidnapped) would probably be too daunted to return her anyway due to all the media publicity surrounding her. Seriously, her parents publicised everywhere that she was lost, but I doubt any authorities would simply allow a kidnapper to return her and then merrily walk off as if he was simply returning a coat that her parents had forgotten. (But if  you kidnap someone, (presumably for ranson), I doubt you would have an ordinary 9-5 job to go back to). The kidnapper would become known as “the person who kidnapped a little girl” – and this tag would probably encourage the guys in prison who render other grown men as helpless as little children to do what they do best. If the kidnapper was street-smart, it might have been possible for him to write an autobiography or something – “Why ordinary people become kidnappers” – who knows, it might have become a bestseller, or possibly recession literature – how the collapse of American banks made people do extraordinary things for money. This book would obviously have greater success, and reflect the catharsis of the author from a child-kidnapper to a reformed man if written in prison. Returning a hostage after that much publicity could even make the kidnapper more [in]famous than the hostage herself. With that much notoriety in the balance, I doubt any kidnapper would have had the guts to return her.

If Madeline McCann was indeed kidnapped, I hope that her kidnapper experienced even more guilt and shame than normal kidnapper. With that much media coverage, he must have been constantly reminded of the heinous crime which he had committed. But even with that much remorse, he probably still didn’t turn his hostage in because of the [in]famy that he would receive if he were to do so.  This is assuming that the kidnapper was kind of a normal/nice guy and actually does feel remorse like normal individuals and isn’t some serial killer who preys on toddlers holidaying in resorts.

Since the kidnapper didn’t ever return the hostage, he could have

a) killed her
b) adopted her?
c) got rid of the child somehow without killing her
d) some sort of child-trafficking ring
e) none of the above (I have a habit of picking this in multiple choice questions when I don’t know the answer)

I really doubt that option b) is true. I don’t think people kidnap 4-year olds when the adoption agency tells them that the waiting list runs for a few months or when adoption agency people think that the person is not fit enough to raise the child (to kidnap someone you’re supposed to have an insane streak). And also, toddlers are messy – they’re always crying and being disruptive and breaking things. In all honesty, I don’t think they make good hostages. Torturing and gagging a toddler also just seems wrong. In these aspects, kidnapping an adult seems easier, although there is a lower chance that someone will actually pay to get that person back – this is probably the deal-breaker for kidnappers and those planning to be. (I’m sure even the rookies plan their targets).

Or just maybe, the guy who kidnapped Madeline McCann made the ultimate rookie error – he just snatched her without planning how he was going to handle the case. And before he could get his mind straight, there was this whole media storm and although he didn’t know what to do – he knew that he wasn’t going to turn himself in.

Kidnap fail

Kidnap fail

So this leaves the other 3 options behind. Either way, I would like to believe that pursuing any of these options should consume the criminal with guilt and that they would punish themselves even though the law would not. It is comforting to believe that almost all people (barring serial killers and Hitler and other freaks) are inherently “nice” and cannot normally commit heinous crimes. Like Macbeth and those murderers in the news who end up turning the gun on themselves when reality starts to sink in.

On days when I am not in a particularly bad mood, I do believe that almost all people are inherently good and would not be able to live with themselves if they were to commit heinous acts. But on the other hand, if we were acutely aware of how much we have hurt others, would we be able to live with ourselves?


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