The disappearance of Madeleine McCann transfixed the world in 2007 — and has led to years of speculation, hope, false leads and amateur investigations.
And now the story is coming to Netflix in a docuseries set to be released Friday.
McCann, a British 3-year-old, was on vacation with her parents, Gerry and Kate, and her twin siblings when she vanished from a Portugal resort on May 3, 2007.
Though the toddler was originally thought to have left the seaside resort of her own accord, the search soon turned frantic when people began to suspect she’d been abducted. Portuguese authorities have been met with criticism for how they handled the investigation, being accused of not searching for the perpetrators with enough zeal.
A man who has since been cleared was originally eyed in connection with the case, though suspicion soon fell on Gerry and Kate. Upon their return to England, the McCanns received support from their community, but the media continued to speculate whether the couple was hiding something. Gerry and Kate have since accused several outlets of libel.
Coverage in the case has been eerily reminiscent of America’s handling of the mystery surrounding JonBenét Ramsey — the 6-year-old girl found dead in her Colorado home on Christmas 1996.
“The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann,” directed by Chris Smith (“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”) continues Netflix’s trend of producing controversial true crime docuseries such as 2015’s hit “Making a Murderer.”
The eight-episode series is said to provide a “unique” perspective on Madeleine’s case and features dozens of interviews with investigative journalists, alleged witnesses, the initial suspect, and others involved in the case. It’s also notable for the lack of involvement by the girl’s parents.
In a statement, Gerry and Kate said, “We did not see — and still do not see — how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it.” They also confirmed, “Our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme.” Their lawyer, Rogério Alves, was interviewed for the series.
The trailer for the series dropped Thursday, showcasing reenactments and archival footage. The trailer also proposes theories of human trafficking while simultaneously reigniting suspicions surrounding the McCann family.
One of the first voice-overs says, “If you made a dozen movies out of this, nobody would believe them.” This is bookended by one interviewee saying, “Somebody knows what’s happened to Madeleine McCann,” leading viewers to think that the series will provide some sort of epiphany or resolution to a case which has haunted the public, and of course those involved, for over a decade.