The elderly woman who was raped by Madeleine McCann prime suspect told police of her 15-minute ordeal where she feared she was going to die.
The elderly woman who was raped by Madeleine McCann prime suspect told police of her 15-minute ordeal where she feared she was going to die.

Maddie suspect’s 15 minutes of horror

The widow raped by Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian B feared he would kill her during a horrific 15-minute ordeal.

The American woman, aged 72, was beaten with a razor-sharp sword after Christian B broke into her villa.

He also bound, gagged and tortured her during the sex attack and she told police: "I feared I was going to die."

The battered and bruised victim was so traumatised she gave up her Portuguese retirement home and fled to the US.

Christian B escaped justice for 12 years before he was nailed by DNA evidence taken from a hair at the scene.

The woman spent two days with investigators recounting her ordeal in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in September 2005 - two years before Madeleine vanished from the Ocean Club complex in the same Algarve resort.

A female FBI agent interviewed the widow about the attack on behalf of Portuguese police.

Christian B has been named as a suspect in Madeleine McCann’s murder this week. Picture: Picture: Bild/ Supplied
Christian B has been named as a suspect in Madeleine McCann’s murder this week. Picture: Picture: Bild/ Supplied

'IT CHANGED MY WHOLE LIFE'

Official documents tell how she failed to notice balaclava-clad fiend slipping into her home because she was gripped by TV news about Hurricane Katrina.

She told the agent: "I went to the study. I was grabbed by a very strong and tall man by the neck in the dark and pulled up the five stone stairs into the bedroom.

"I was briefly able to recognise a masked figure.

"Dark eyes looked out of slits and he had held a long, curved knife, which looked like a sabre.

"He gagged me, tied my arms behind my back and then, as I later found out, put bedclothes and other material on the windows so no one could look inside.

"I remember thinking, 'I hope he won't kill me. Eventually, he tore my clothes down with a jerk.

"When I was naked, he threw me through the room and repeatedly slapped me all over the body with a metal object and pinched my nipples.

"It lasted about 15 minutes and I got the feeling he enjoyed it.

"I insulted him and called him a son of a b**** and an a*******.

"The rape then happened almost casually, as if he had already lost interest.

"Finally, in basic Portuguese, he asked me where I had my money, saying, 'Onde dinheiro?'

"He removed the gag because he realised that otherwise I could not answer and loosened the shackles.

"He was sawing back and forth with his knife.

"He said he was careful not to hurt me, which made me a little calmer, as I had previously been afraid that he would kill me after I initially saw the knife. I had feared for my life.

"He led me to the bathroom and ordered me, 'No call police'. It changed my whole life and led to me moving back to the United States."

Christian B, now 43, fled the house and a short time later the woman, who had suffered cuts and bruises all over her body, raised the alarm with a neighbour.

She later discovered her attacker had also stolen her Apple iBook laptop.

The woman and her husband had moved to Portugal on their retirement because they had grown to love the area so much on holiday, but he had died a few years later.

The widow stayed on but struggled to cope following the attack.

She was unable to sleep unless she had the light on and put up heavy blinds on the house, which was on a path to a beach, so no one could see in.

Within a few months she sold up and moved back to Pasadena, California, because she didn't feel safe.

The McCanns have never given up their fight to find Maddie. Picture: AP Photo/Sang Tan, File
The McCanns have never given up their fight to find Maddie. Picture: AP Photo/Sang Tan, File

FILM EVIDENCE

Portuguese police failed to crack the case at the time but Christian B was arrested 12 years later when two pals reported him after finding disturbing films in his home.

They said the films, which have never been found, showed him raping and torturing the elderly victim.

DNA sample taken from a hair at the scene helped convict him and he was jailed for seven years last December.

Christian B is currently serving a sentence for drug offences in a German jail, having appealed against the rape conviction.

He was only 18 when he moved to the Portugal with his then-girlfriend in 1995.

He had reportedly left his homeland to flee a prison sentence at the time.

Christian B spent 12 years living in the Algarve, and was based in a ramshackle farmhouse in hills overlooking Praia and just a short drive from the Ocean Club.

His reported total of 17 previous convictions also includes theft and forging documents.

Originally published as Maddie suspect's 15 minutes of horror


Former mayor and son gave 'inaccurate, improbable' evidence

premium_icon Former mayor and son gave 'inaccurate, improbable' evidence

NSW Supreme Court judge hands down a decision in repossession matter

Public sex act accused to front court

premium_icon Public sex act accused to front court

A man is due to face court later this month

Motorists urged to expect ongoing border delays

premium_icon Motorists urged to expect ongoing border delays

POLICE have advised NSW residents travelling into Queensland to expect ongoing...