Was there a blue tennis bag or wasn't there a blue tennis bag and did said tennis bag disappear? The saga of the bag has been around for as long as there have been forums discussing the Maddie case and at some point any official mention of it seemed to have disappeared, like Maddie herself, without a trace and no evidence it had ever been there.
This video is from December 23rd 2007. Martin Brunt, of Sky News, is seen sitting in the Tapas Bar, at the table that was occupied by the McCanns and their friends on the night Madeleine disappeared. Between the table and the outside world, there is a slightly tinted tarpaulin, through which the swimming pool can be seen with the apartment block in which apartment 5A is located in the top, right background. Brunt describes what lies between the Tapas Bar and the apartment block and states that it would have been impossible to have seen anyone entering or leaving the McCanns' rented apartment.
Brunt then follows the route which would have been taken by the McCanns and friends from the Tapas Bar to the apartment, to check on the children. He makes the trip in 80 paces, much further than, as Gerry McCann originally stated, "like dining in your own back garden."
It's the tennis bag that's of particular interest here. Martin Brunt explains that the missing bag is one of two important lines of enquiry for the police.
That was December 23rd 2007. On December 24th 2007, in a Daily Telegraph report, the McCann family was quoted as saying that the tennis bag was not the focus of the police investigation. Clarence Mitchell put in a strange twopenn'rth.
"But Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for Madeleine's parents, dismissed the report, insisting that Gerry had never owned such a bag."
"As far as Kate and Gerry are concerned, there is no missing tennis bag," he said.
"They came back from holiday with everything except of course, tragically, Madeleine."
So, Gerry had never owned such a bag and Kate and Gerry say there is no missing tennis bag. So, did he ask Kate and Gerry, "Is a blue tennis bag of yours missing?" And they said no? The statement appears to be in two very distant parts, which don't necessarily add up to the same thing. There isn't a bag missing because they've still got it and they came back from holiday with the same blue bag that they went with? There isn't a bag missing because they know where it is?