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Maddie probe Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner breaks prison silence amid mounting pressure

Rapist sends a letter to German paper saying probe into him is a 'scandal'

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Christian Brueckner is serving time for raping a 72-year-old woman

Christian Brueckner is serving time for raping a 72-year-old woman

Christian Brueckner is serving time for raping a 72-year-old woman

German rapist Christian Brueckner is crumbling under the pressure of an ongoing investigation into his links with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The suspect, who wrote a letter this week to German newspaper Bild and accompanied it with a cartoon drawing of two prosecutors in a restaurant, was identified last year by police in Germany and Scotland Yard as a person of interest in the baffling case.

He has also been identified as being in the frame for the rape of Irish holiday rep Hazel Behan, who waived her anonymity to describe how she believes Brueckner may be the man who broke into her hotel room in 2004 and subjected her to a five-hour ordeal.

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Missing Madeleine McCann and suspect Christian Brueckner

Missing Madeleine McCann and suspect Christian Brueckner

Missing Madeleine McCann and suspect Christian Brueckner

Brueckner has not been quizzed yet but prosecutors say huge volumes of information about him has been flooding in and officers are piecing together the jigsaw of his life.

Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has said the drifter is suspected of five separate crimes and described how 100 detectives are working on thousands of new leads on them and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007.

Chief reporter Kai Feldhaus of Bild says he has seen the letter and it shows how Brueckner is feeling the pressure of media reports about him as he languishes in jail, serving a sentence for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in Praia de Luz - the same Portuguese holiday destination where Madeleine went missing from her bed.

In an interview with the Crime World podcast, he details how the confusing details of Brueckner's transient life are slowly emerging as he is ruled in and out of some of Europe's most mysterious crimes.

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Investigators search an allotment in Hanover that belonged to Brueckner

Investigators search an allotment in Hanover that belonged to Brueckner

Investigators search an allotment in Hanover that belonged to Brueckner

 

Feldhaus describes the letter received at his newspaper office from the sex offender, marking the first time he has broken his silence.

In it, Brueckner describes the investigation into him a 'scandal', proclaims his innocence and urges prosecutors leading the case to resign.

According to Feldhaus, the letter was dated May 8, but was only received this week as it got delayed by Covid restrictions and the fact that it was sent to an empty office.

In it, Brueckner accuses prosecutors of bringing "shame" to the German legal system by making "scandalous" statements against him without ever bringing charges in connection with Madeleine's disappearance. It was accompanied by a bizarre drawing of two prosecutors ordering "filet forensics" at a restaurant.

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"It is weird. Very weird. And I think it is a sign of someone trapped and not being asked where his defence is. His lawyer has said that he is not going to say anything but for some reason he felt an urgent need to express himself in this letter and drawing. Whether that was smart or not, I'm not sure," says Feldhaus. "I don't think he is gaining confidence. I think he is losing his patience."

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Investigators search an allotment in Hanover that belonged to Brueckner

Investigators search an allotment in Hanover that belonged to Brueckner

Investigators search an allotment in Hanover that belonged to Brueckner

 

The journalist, who is putting together a documentary on Brueckner, has delved deep into the suspect's murky past and tells Crime World how the career criminal had a troubled childhood

"His first conviction is for child molesting in 1995 of a six-year-old child. He was 17 at the time and afterwards you see a committed pattern of committing a crime and running away; running to Portugal, living there trying to make a living, committing petty crimes then bigger crimes and running away again. So that is his career and the crimes he committed are all through what you can punish someone for, from drug dealing to child molesting to the rape of an elderly woman in Praia de Luz," he says.

"There are a couple of rumours how police got his attention for the Maddie McCann case. His name was first uttered in 2013 but he was then seen as a witness and dropped off until about 2017 when another criminal that used to be his friend that he hung out with in Portugal alerted Scotland Yard that Brueckner told him he is the murderer of Maddie McCann. That was the real starting point in the investigation."

Later Brueckner was caught on a playground in Portugal exposing himself to children and returned to Germany where he was later convicted of raping an elderly woman in 2005 in Praia de Luz.

Among evidence being collected against him are USB drives discovered under the body of a dead dog in Germany containing pornography, a timeline of his movements around Europe and a camper van he was living in at the time of Madeleine's disappearance which was given a thorough forensic examination.

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Hazel Behan was raped in 2004

Hazel Behan was raped in 2004

Hazel Behan was raped in 2004

Feldhaus describes how Brueckner was adopted at the age of two, along with a brother, after he was given up by his birth mother. He was later believed to have entered the care home system when his behaviour became too much for his adopted parents to handle.

"He has no moral standards whatsoever and has committed a wide range of crimes, even sexual crimes towards minors and the elderly. But he is a surprisingly smart and eloquent guy and is very charming to be around with. His handwriting is clear and orderly. We know he had a dog, who was his constant companion and who he loved to bits. Friends say he was charming but as soon as he got drunk he was a totally different person, who you couldn't stand to be around because he was so obnoxious. He had a split personality. He could be charming and convincing but he also had a very dark side to his character too."

Feldhaus details the crimes that Brueckner has been linked to and often ruled out of, including the disappearance of a German child in 2015.

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