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“She's almost as good as me.”
“Almost as tasty as Macauly.”
“Catch me if you McCann”
Madeline "Mad Maddy" McCann was the first person to ever escape the Praida da Luz, a maximum security prison in southern Portugal. Many people had believed her to be "on holiday", and were shocked and saddened when it was revealed that not only had she been incarcerated, but she had also managed to escape. Her current whereabouts are still unknown. She is presumed either dead, or buried.
After her escape on the 3rd of May 2007, Portuguese police have been scouring the land to try and recapture her. It is suspected that she had some assistance in her escape, and on the 15th of May, Robert Murat, a local shirt wearer, had been questioned thoroughly as to his part in her disappearance. By the 17th of August, police had to admit their incompetence, and publicly declare that they just didn't know where she was.
A large manhunt began for Mad Maddy. Wanted posters started to appear in airports, shopping centres, businesses, and other populated places, in the hope that raising public awareness would help to locate her. Some suspected that she had fled the country, and the story went international. Reliable British newspapers, including the newspaper of record, the Daily Mail and others, such as The Sun and the Daily Express printed extravagant headlines and accompanying pictures to get the message out. However, even with the intellect of the readership of these three papers put together, Mad Maddy remained undiscovered.
As the news of the fugitive's escape spread, society harked to popular celebrities to assist them in raising awareness of the now global manhunt. David Beckham has been said to have pledged actual money to the cause. The reward for finding Mad Maddy now resides in the region of one trillion pounds - a sure reflection of the importance of this case.
As routes of investigation began to turn sour, police began to look deeper into the case. The spotlight turned to Mad Maddy's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann. They, however, insisted that they had no knowledge of to her whereabouts, staunchly defending this with claims of "We were at the restaurant across the road." and "There were other people about, right?" Such claims have since been verified by a family friend.
In another twist, it came to light that Gerry McCann had been checking in on Mad Maddy often, which some wardens had considered an abuse of the visiting hours regulations. He famously said to reporters that "someone might have been hiding in the room". Portuguese police jumped at the chance to dispel rumours of their ineptitude, and began to investigate. Predictably, they returned empty handed.
The Other Suspect
On the night of her escape, a friend of the McCanns who was visiting the Prada da Luz on an unrelated matter claims that she saw a man "carrying a young blonde girl wearing "distinguishable" pyjamas and wrapped in a blanket" away from Mad Maddy's cell. Although she dismissed this originally as "just what them Johnny Foreigners do", it soon dawned upon her that it might not have been natural Portuguese behaviour, but rather something far more sinister. She was arrested as a suspect, but the charges were dropped after Portuguese police forgot to question her.
Busting out the Big Guns
As the matter was now of international notoriety, fearing for public safety and world peace, the British stepped in to take the reins. A number of British experts arrived in Portugal, including skilled police officers and experienced investigators. These were in turn armed with technology far superior to that of the resident force.
There were, however, some inconceivable communication problems. The British police had assumed that the Portuguese would know English, but the Portuguese only spoke a crazy made up language. This hampered the investigation to no end, and ultimately, no progress was made.
It has been many months since the escape of one of Portugal's now most infamous detainees. Given the time frame, it is very possible that Mad Maddy has fled not only Portugal, but Europe; perhaps even the world. Some even suspect that because of the lack of evidence, she simply ceased to exist, and phased into another universe. There have, however, been reported sightings of her. People have claimed to have seen her in Portugal, Malta, Spain, Belgium and even Morocco. Many of these have been revealed to be gross falsities - red herrings perpetuated to try and cash in on some of the reward.
The eyewitness who previously claimed to have seen a man carrying a child in a rug, later dismissing it as habitual Portuguese behaviour has recently made a statement, giving a description of the alleged assistant in Mad Maddy's escape. She describes the man as male, with olive skin and greasy shoulder length black hair. A police sketch revealed what the man looked like, although due to circumstance did not draw a face into the image in the fear that it might lead to false arrests, and perhaps something to do. Portuguese police have begun investigations, firstly by questioning whomever fits the bill, beginning with the entire male population of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Sicily and Turkey.
Useless Portuguese police have confirmed that they plan to look a little bit harder some time next week, perhaps in the garden, behind the shed. Until then, Mad Maddy is at large.