Madeleine McCann: Ex-friend of prime suspect recalls chilling 'confession'

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann disappeared during a family holiday in 2008

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 30/06/2023

- 10:28

Lead suspect Christian Brueckner has been accused of hinting about his involvement in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in 2008

A former friend of the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance case has recalled his chilling confession from just months after the three-year-old vanished.

Helge Busching, 48, who helped police connect his 45-year-old ex-pal Christian Brueckner with McCann’s case, also described shocking footage he saw on the lead suspect’s video camera.

Speaking in a two-hour interview with German tabloid Bild, Busching said: “He asked me: 'Don't you go to Portugal anymore and do business there?'

“'I said 'no', since the girl disappeared there, there have been too many police checks for me and I don't need that at all.’

Madeleine McCannMadeleine McCann went missing in 2007PA

"We came to Maddie and I said, 'Anyway, I don't understand how the little one could have disappeared without a trace'.

"Christian had drunk two or three beers and then said: 'She didn't scream'.

"I immediately checked what he said. I thought, he knows that. He has something to do with it.

"At 3 or 4am he left a packed festival with his mobile home. I looked for him the next morning, his neighbours said: 'He's gone'."

Madeleine McCann and Christian BMadeleine McCann (left) and prime suspect Christian Brueckner (right)PA

Busching, who is a petty criminal and burglar, claimed Scotland Yard initially ignored his concerns about Brueckner when he raised concerns about the convicted paedophile.

He met Brueckner at around the time of McCann’s disappearance in a car park outside a pub in Portugal.

Bursching later burgled his former friend’s home but discovered a gun and video camera.

The camera allegedly included footage which showed a tied-up pensioner being abused.

He said: “At the end of the video, he sat down on the bed and pulled down the mask. Then I saw that it was B.”

Police near a reservoir in search for Madeleine McCann's pink pyjamas

Police have been continuing with efforts to find the missing toddler


Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of raping a pensioner in Praia da Luz in 2005.

But he has denied any involvement in McCann’s abduction.

Brueckner was quizzed as a witness in the case by German police in 2013.

Officers in Germany said in 2020 that they believed Brueckner kidnapped and murdered McCann.

The 45-year-old remains under investigation on suspicion of murder after spending many years in Portugal around the time of the then-three year old’s disappearance.

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