Why did it take weeks for the McCanns to share their last photo of Madeleine? Is the photo real? It’s a question that’s been asked a lot over the last 10 years, prompting all sorts of theories about when and how, and if, it was taken – theories we’ve entertained as well. And then we found this…
On August 2nd, 2007 [3 months after Madeleine disappeared] investigators showed up at 27 Rua das Flores – the McCanns’ new villa since leaving the Ocean Club’s Apt 5A on July 2nd – to conduct a search with the help of Eddie, a cadaver dog, and Keela, a dog that detects blood. That search was videotaped.
Take a look at the clip that starts at 6:41. The investigators are in the McCanns’ bedroom, at this point of the search, looking specifically at Kate’s side of the room. A number of pictures of Madeleine are hung on the wall and displayed on a bedside table. Now, look at time stamp 6:50. What do you see?
In a black frame with a large cross and necklace draped over it, is the ‘last photo’ – well, actually – half of it. Did Kate crop out her other daughter, Amelie, and husband, Gerry? Seems kinda cold, but Ok, if this is a Madeleine shrine, it’s possible. Let’s look closer. Here’s the photo the McCanns presented to the world as the last photo of their ‘abducted’ daughter…
I tried to crop this image myself to get the same amount of empty space that’s seen to Madeleine’s right, and quickly realized, it’s impossible.
The only way to completely remove Amelie’s and Gerry’s arms is to crop closer to Madeleine’s right arm, which then cuts off her right leg in the photo. But, that’s not what we see in Kate’s framed image on the bedside table.
Taking it one step further, focus in on the space between Amelie’s arm and her body – what’s the source of the white/black line?
Looking at an image of the kid’s pool, there’s no border or design along the outer rim that matches what we see in that space.
If this picture is indeed ‘doctored’, and it certainly seems we now have the proof, the next question for the McCanns, of course, is… why?
31 thoughts on “Proof! The ‘Last Photo’ is Fake”
Great researching, congratulations on this find
Theres not a great deal you have to research really, just look at the creche records for that day. This photo was said to have been taken at 2.30pm, so look at the creche records and we see Madeleine was at the creche at that time
Hi I am also intriqued by this photo, and in my opinion isomeone has used photoshop to fiqure this photo of the three of them together..- The day it was supposedly taken looks sunny on the photo.. The actual day itself was cloudy and cool.. Also the wall behind her head is a different height to the single shot..and with all the anomalies mentioned.. My opinion is ‘ Bad photoshop’/
Jeepers you’re right – the wall height is also different against the line of Madeleine’s hat.
It isn’t a different height. The wall at the right in the cropped photo isn’t even visible. I think you’re mistaking the crucifix in front of the photo as being the wall, as they’re a similar colour
The “last photo” shows three untanned individuals. If this photo was taken on Thursday all three individuals, even the youngest child would have been well tanned.
Good point. On my very first day in the Algarve on May 1st this year, I got a pretty bad sunburn.
We never tan on holiday due to factor 50
Apparently the majority view [if I am reading the forums right] is that the “last photo” is the original and Kate edited Madeleine out of it to form the bedside photo. It’s actually the other way round, as we’ve demonstrated here. Ironic, though, that forums devoted to this case for years have recycled the same mumbo jumbo and thus many people on them take those first assessments as gospel. Hard to fill a cup that’s already full, in some cases.
Nick, you are obtuse! The Last Photo was used as a poster in the Church & was also seen as a family photo taken just before Madeleine disappeared & we were told that it was altered to remove all but Madeleine so the focus would be on her.
The little black mark seen between the 2 girls comes from the small square filter box or light box seen on the edge in your pool pic without figures, but the perspective has made the difference.
we were told that it was altered>>>By whom?
There are some anomalies. Maddie alone her sun hat does not dip as low on the shoulder as family group. Background on Maddie alone is darker. Looking at her left hand side there is a semi circle of emptiness where the family elbows were but it looks as though the semi circle is overlaid covering up her right arm. In Maddie alone her body looks more compressed as if she wasn’t as tall as family shot!
I saw one writer – a Dutch guy I think – thought the shadow with the small bulge in it between Amelie and Gerry [on Gerry’s side] looked odd. Is it supposed to be a shadow of Amelie’s hat or something else?
The shadow of Gerry’s head on his own shirt also seems odd, especially if shadows – look at sun on right side of Gerry’s face – should also be forming somewhat right to left [or is it left to right]. Personally the shadow area is a difficult one because sometimes even in real life, shadows look odd for whatever reason. It can be a case of looking to deep into the abyss that the abyss starts looking at you. Did you know in the tennis photo Madeleine is wearing Amelie’s hat? That just seems weird to me. Firstly because it’s not a sunny day and secondly because it’s not her hat.
I think another thing to remember – if the McCanns purposefully wanted to reverse engineer this image [a composite of 3 figures at a pool from 1], it could not have been that difficult to shoot Gerry and Amelie at the pool in the 60 day period after Madeleine’s disappearance that the McCanns continued to stay in the Ocean Club [at 4G]. All they had to do was find the appropriate position at the pool, and similar light and time of day. Of course getting close and getting it perfect are two totally different ball games, and ultimately, I dare say it wasn’t close enough.
Why is wearing a sibling’s hat weird???? On holiday, our kids borrow each other’s hats and sunglasses all the time
The argument is built on the presumption that the photo of Madeleine shown in the video and the image of Madeleine in the “last photo” are one and the same. Compare the two, concentrating on Madeleine’s hair. I don’t think they’re from the same photo. I’m not suggesting the “last photo” is authentic – the circumstances of its “revealing” is hinky all by itself – but it appears the video captured a different pic, albeit from the same photo session as the one that produced the image of Madeleine in the “last photo.”
I agree. I think a few photos have been taken, and the one Kate has cropped was the one she liked best of Madeleine – but wasn’t from the same shot as the photo released to the media. Gerry and Amelie have simply moved slightly between one photo and the other being taken
I think you should take a little time to consider what you’re suggesting, and perhaps take a little time to consider whether the suggestion makes sense or is even logical. So you have one photo that is almost a carbon copy of another. But it might not be the same because…perhaps the photographer shot 20 frames in a few seconds? You’re obviously not a photographer and not thinking this through.
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You didn’t address my point – that the photos don’t appear to match in the details. “You’re obviously not a photographer” – so what?!? Neither were the McCanns. I came to this blog page because you’ve obviously given this photo a lot of thought. So help me understand your point by resort to particulars.
I don’t think it’s a case of so what. Photographers know how to manipulate photos and can recognise it even when they appear invisible to everyone else as well. If you’re not a photographer you’re hardly an expert on it. I am a photographer. I do photographic work regularly for magazines. That means I do a lot of editing as part of my job and ordinarily pay attention to images.
Now let me address your point. If you look at the last photo and compare it to the screengrab, and you close your eyes slightly and blur your eyes, both images are for all intents and purposes a match. The screengrab is of a framed photo on a one dimensional plane turned slightly away from the viewer, which gives a little distortion to the perspective of the viewer. Making allowances for this, they’re broadly a match and if you look carefully, they’re a match in terms of the various minutiae of the image itself. Certain areas line up exactly as they do in both images.
I’d like to challenge you to try to recreate the same thing with an animal or a child. Have them in an outdoor setting and try to take two identical images. The catch is they need to be moving slightly [smiling, barking] while you’re taking the photo.
Since the screengrab is fuzzy it opens the door to a little doubt and uncertainty, and you’re perfectly entitled to fill that uncertainty by saying it’s a completely different photo. So you’re saying it’s a completely different photo but in precisely the same setting, at the same time, and that is a theory that makes complete sense.
But what does that mean?
Broadly: There’s a little girl, with a particular expression, wearing particular clothes, with her hands and face orientated in a particular way, all within a particular setting. What you seem to be missing is when amateurs take photos on holiday, they don’t tend to produce identical photos. In fact it’s very hard to produce identical photos unless you’re shooting a still life or a landscape. Few photos of people ever are identical, even when multiple frames are shot in a few seconds, and especially where children are involved.
So to make the argument that it simply happens to be another photo that happens to look approximately the same is not only unscientific, it’s asinine. Even if you imagine Kate McCann shooting 5 or 10 images in rapid fire, it would still not produce an identical image, unless Madeleine was sitting perfectly still. Was she? She was in mid-smile and looking away from the photographer, so a microsecond later the expression would have changed, also the hair and the shadows on her clothing, and her orientation to the photographer. I’m sorry if the way I see the natural fluidity in a child’s movements doesn’t match someone who perhaps sees a child frozen for several moments while smiling, and being photographed. But as I say, if you’re not a photographer, you wouldn’t intuitively know this.
Speaking for the photographer – Why would anyone shoot multiple shots of an obviously posed photo unless it was for a publication or a commercial? There’s no climactic activity happening here like someone surfing or diving into a pool or jumping across a ditch where such micro capture would matter, so there’s no reason for a burst of photos. Most families would simply say smile and take a single photo.
If you’ve seen the unedited image of Madeleine with the tennis balls you would get a fuller sense of what a poor cameraman the photographer was. But that’s a separate blog post.
I’ve provided reasons to back up the technical merits of the photograph in this blog post. If you don’t agree with them that’s your privilege. But then it may be fairer to acknowledge you know very little about photography, haven’t conjured the event in your mind, and simply plucked your reason out of thin air as a sort of gut feel. Yes, it’s possible, but it’s also possible parts of the moon are made of cheese. Without going there we can’t be absolutely sure. But we can use common sense and inference and expertise.
There are plenty of forums that throw around untested and unscientific ideas and the people there get a kick in the reinforcement they get, irrespective of there being any evidence to support these random stabs. We like to take the process and the psychology more seriously.
A year or two has passed since you posted this. I have read from other forums/blogs etc that the most likely scenario is that the full Pool Photo is itself not photoshopped but that most likely the EXIF has been changed and it is most likely taken on Sunday April 29th rather than May 3rd as shown by the officially released EXIF information. It’s been suggested that most likely Maddy died on the night of Sun 29th/ Mon 1st giving Gerry time to hide the body and stage the discovery for May 3rd. The Tennisball photo seems to be a relatively crude Photoshop job and the playground pics most likely taken on the first afternoon of the holiday on 28th April.
My suspicion if this is the case would be either that the Dressing table is a cropped and photoshopped derivative of the full photo or possibly a second photo I used to have the Powershot 620 and if i recall correctly it had a burst mode of something similar allowing to take several pics. Of course if the McCanns were truly not guilty all this could have (and maybe still could) be cleared up simply by handing over the original memory card.
in any case thanks for an eagle eyed spot!!
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How about the possibility that more than one photo was taken. You can tell the picture where she is alone that her hat and smile are different. Maybe, she was posing by her dad and sister and then took another photo after they had moved or she leaned forward more and her mom took another photo. Digital cameras were around at this point, so it’s not in heard of for a mother to take multiple pictures of the same .
I don’t really understand why people think the ‘last photo’ and also why would they need to produce a fake last photo of her, because as I recall they did have other photos of her from the holiday. Or could’ve just used the real one. I was 7 at the time the disappearance happened and grew up becoming more fascinated with it but it’s hard to know ALL the information
There’s something off about the two photos, particularly with the one provided to the media. But I don’t understand why that would be.
Maybe I’m completely off on this, but I didn’t see how you thought it was photoshopped (besides the one singular photo comparison of course) until you should a picture of the pool area on its own. I work in interior design where I am constantly photoshopping and rendering scenes. I looked at the position of where they are sitting in relationship to the tree and the back post, then looked at where the direction of the photo was taken. The background of this image is off. Just a bit, but there should be slightly more distance behind them at this angle given the distance of that pathway in the photo without people in it. You lose distance like this when photoshopping backgrounds in. Also given in the position they are sitting, the pool curve should be coming more at you in the photo than the pool edge is. I think all three have been photoshopped into a background photo to reenact the one photo of her sitting alone at the pool.
The white coming from around the pool edge, definitely not a sun reflection issue, but photoshop from brightening and upping contrast colouring. Everyone in the photo feels really flat, which happens when you photoshop people behind a background. It’s really difficult to blend seamless. Also the photo is in high contrast where someone has obviously touched that up.
I think they elongated Maddie in the photo to compare beside her sister. And that’s a shadow behind her that matches up to the pool border.
Actually, it is more likely that the photo of Maddie in the Photo Kate had, is the original, and the copy being circulated in conspiracy circles, by the likes of Richard D Hall, and depicts the three of them together, is the photo-shopped one
No expert by any means but studying the photo the shadows don’t seem correct. Shadow on lounge chair leg in foreground appears to be from sun on left. Assuming sun is on the left, why is the shadow of Gerald’s head from more of a sun more directly overhead. Amelie’s shirt shadow on Gerald is clearly coming from sun on right, and one can see the sun’s reflection on Maddie’s left shoulder.
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My only observation between the cropped photo on Kate’s bedside table and the supposed ‘last photo’ is regarding the reference to the line of the wall behind and to the right of Madeleine. I believe that straight line is not in fact the wall, but the straight horizontal edge of the crucifix hanging on the right side of the photo frame. The actual stone wall is far from a straight line.
The small line between that you refer to is the poolside ‘number plate’, clearly seen in unpeopled pool and tree photo. the tree here is a good marker, same line of sight / angle – possibly the elbows were edited out on the cropped photo, and the “cross” merges with the sandy/rocky border, which some have wrongly contrived… To my eyes, Gerry looks like he has been photoshopped INTO this candid photo of the two sisters… Gerry’s hand or arm is NOT protectively around the little ones… Gerry’s stance with hand on hip thigh is unusual, singularly mannish, not caring or parental, Is it a deep pool? Would a parent’s instinct hee be to hold or protect the toddler?
Along similar lines The video quality of the Madeleine clips during the trip are so horrendously bad looking, it completely defeats the purpose of filming your kids in the first place, unless your intentions are to see what your kids would look like if they were characters in an Atari video game.
I actually just came across this case case. I vaguely remembered it and didn’t have an opinion, but right off the bat the video and photos of Madeline gave me the vibe of other instances, which based on overwhelming evidence that the person and or suspect in question was a computer generated person who never existed. But this having occurred around 2007 is the furthest one back of a video instance that I can think of. In years since they’ve come to realize that the quality of the lie has no importance, so they spend about 5 minutes creating the make believe photo/video narrative that can easily be disproven, because it’s only disproven to a very small percentage of the population, while the vast majority of society goes with what they are told as opposed to what they observe, so evidence may raise the those who question it by 5%, but they’ve already programmed people to shun those members of society. It’s very Orwellian… it’s the point where any element of critical thinking is to be shunned and those who critically think about anything, fall into the ever so insulting conspiracist category, which has been programmed to mean… lunacism/idiocracy and people don’t want their peers to think of them like this, so it puts them either in a state of anger when opinions come along that threaten to put them in such a category or denial of it’s existence… if cornered and presented with info to where it can no longer be denied, the only out left is… so what, knowing the truth doesn’t have impact anything. Of course this doesn’t apply to any other piece of knowledge they may have, only if what they learned to be true falls into the conspiracy category.
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