Christian Brueckner is 'hiding something', says handwriting expert

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner is ‘hiding something’, says handwriting expert as he mounts letter-writing campaign protesting his ‘innocence’ in disappearance of British toddler 15 years ago

  • Christian Brueckner, 44, was officially designated as a suspect last week
  • Now, a handwriting expert has analysed letters he sent to try to clear his name
  • Tracey Trussell described his writing – in near perfect English – as ‘too perfect’ 
  • Madeleine McCann vanished from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in 2007

Brueckner, 45, who has embarked on a dedicated letter writing campaign to try to clear his name – was named by Portuguese authorities as an arguido – official suspect – in the McCann case

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner is ‘super-cool, unflappable, calm and collected’ but he’s ‘hiding something’, says a handwriting expert who has examined letters in which he protests his innocence.

Convicted rapist and paedophile Brueckner, 45, who has embarked on a dedicated letter writing campaign to try to clear his name – was named by Portuguese authorities as an arguido – official suspect – in the McCann case.

Brueckner, who this week had his application for early release from a seven-year jail term for a brutal 2005 sex attack on a 72-year-old woman rejected by the German authorities, has written to MailOnline – along with his supporters around the world – to claim he had nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance almost 15 years ago.

In all the notes – handwritten in near perfect English – Brueckner explains how he feels he is being ‘persecuted’ by prosecutors and police and even accuses them of ‘fitting’ him up.

But MailOnline showed the letters to handwriting expert Tracey Trussell, who reported back with a three-page expert analysis of his distinctive handwriting, describing it as ’perfect, too perfect’.

Tracey added: ‘On closer inspection there is much more going on than meets the eye. It looks almost eerily unnatural – slow, contrived, mechanical and robotic – unforgiving in its transmission and deliverance.

‘The writer comes across as super cool, unflappable, calm and collected, not easily rattled, because the slant of the writing is vertical or upright. He’s also incredibly polite and well mannered, the left margin is dead straight, the script is legible and there are a number of arched or arcade shaped letters throughout. He’s motivated to present himself in the best possible light, and he’s hiding something.’

Brueckner, who this week had his application for early release from a seven-year jail term for a brutal 2005 sex attack on a 72-year-old woman rejected by the German authorities, has written to MailOnline and supporters around the world to claim he had nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance almost 15 years ago. Pictured: Letters from Brueckner

Tracy, author of Life Lines, and who is based in Hertfordshire, went on: ‘The size of the writing is also very small, he is an introverted individual who wants to keep a low profile. He tried hard to avoid reality and escape into a world of his own. 

‘The thing is, people with such tiny handwriting, tend to see things objectively but are unable to step out of a problem, and end up completely missing the point.

‘This is a man who takes great care of appearance and calculates his behaviour painstakingly and conscientiously. His public face is uber correct, formal and together. He likes everything to be just so. He is almost unbelievably well organised and regimented in his outlook.

‘He overthinks things and everything he does is meticulously planned and thorough, the baseline spacing is uniformly and relentlessly regular, with the mentality of a perfectionist’s penchant for precision because there are no missing I dots and all the bars are crucifix style – crossed centrally, as well as his preferred style of block printing.

‘He resents intrusion into his thinking processes, which are likely to be somewhat warped. So his morals, are questionable and he’s good at blagging and faking things. Paranoia, dishonesty, manipulation or a second agenda is implied.’

But it was his signature that gave the most chilling insight, according to Tracey, as she said:’ This transmits a desire for nondisclosure. It’s not legible and transparent, like the rest of the script. He doesn’t want to be questioned, he wants to conceal his character and intentions, he wants to mislead.

‘He wants to appear to be more approachable and outgoing than he really is, whilst keeping his hand hidden so people never really know what he’s up to and that’s just how he liked it. He’s shrewd and wants to twist his way out of trouble.’

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal in 2007. Christian Brueckner has been named as the chief suspect in her disappearance by Portuguese authorities

Christian Brueckner was flagged as a key Madeleine McCann kidnap and murder suspect YEARS ago 

Christian Brueckner was flagged as a key Madeleine McCann kidnap and murder suspect years ago by police but the report was ignored by German authorities. 

According to German magazine Spiegel, police in Braunschweig sent a report about him being a prime suspect to the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) in 2013, two years before Inga Gehricke, ‘Germany’s Maddie McCann’, disappeared. It was ignored.

Braunschweig police were monitoring the 43-year-old around the clock at the time. The report was triggered after an appeal from British police on a German unsolved crime show, on which the news about Brueckner was also broadcast this week.

Spiegel went on: ‘One person did submit a tip about Brueckner but the resulting report from police in Braunschweig to the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation was apparently not acted upon, much to the consternation of the local investigators.’

Brueckner was born to a woman named Fischer but given over to youth authorities at an early age. Between 1992 – when he was 16 – and 1994 he lived in a facility for young people with learning difficulties.

A neighbour told German newspaper BILD: ‘There were only bad young people there.’ 

He was involved in crime across Europe after that. 

Brueckner was sensationally named as prime suspect in the abduction of Madeleine in June 2020 by German prosecutors – who even went so far as to claim they had ‘concrete evidence’ she was dead.

But after almost two years no charges have been brought and there is a growing fear that despite the clamour all police have is circumstantial evidence which is not strong enough to bring charges against him.

In his latest missive seen by MailOnline and written to a supporter overseas he slams his rape conviction and accuses the German police of planting DNA evidence to frame him.

He was jailed for the sex attack three years ago after being convicted of raping an American woman, in 2005 in her own home and just a few minutes from where Madeleine went missing.

In the letter, seen by MailOnline, Brueckner, writes: ‘In 2019 I received a seven-year prison sentence for torturing and raping an old woman.

‘This was the beginning of the story. I did not do that, so I was starting (sic) a fight by writing letters and complaining.

‘At this time, I had the most lazy (sic) lawyer you can imagine, that is why I did it all by myself.

‘The German investigators said that they found a hair after 13 years on the bedsheet of the victim which belongs to me.

‘The trues (sic) are that they found 14 hairs but only two of them had enough DNA to find the owners. The victim – and me.

‘That is hard to believe, isn’t it but the prosecutors and the judge said ‘guilty!’

‘By the way how the culprit acted there must be found much more than ‘only’ one hair. But there was nothing else of me.’

Brueckner, who is currently in Oldenburg prison, was convicted after two former pals told the court they had found a camera in his Portuguese house which they had stolen, with footage showing him raping two women.

Maddie’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann said they welcomed the news that a German man has been declared ‘an arguido in relation to the disappearance of our beloved daughter, Madeleine (The McCanns pose with an age-processed image of Maddie in 2012)

They said the victims were an older woman and a younger girl but neither has been traced and the camera has also never been found and it is now being used to bring two further rape charges against Brueckner as revealed by MailOnline last week.

But in his letter he wrote: ‘Two guys I knew in the past said that they stole a camera of me and there was film inside showing me raping two different women.

‘But nobody knows where this film is. It just disappeared. Both of these two guys told twice what they ‘have seen’ on this film (once by the police and once by the court) and there were four different stories.

‘But totally different, the prosecutor and the judge said ‘absolutely believable, guilty’! I really thought this was a hidden cam show but no, this is serious.

‘The court definitely had the order to put me in prison, to convict me. But why ? At this time I didn’t know what I know now but one thing for sure.

‘The hair of me what they ‘found’ on the sheet was found because someone was putting it there afterwards. Who? There is only one possibility, the BKA which is the German FBI or Scotland Yard.

‘I now know my real ‘enemy’. For one reason I didn’t know then, they wanted me in prison. Believe it or not I respect old persons more than most of the ‘normal’ people.

‘It is just so sad to see how they are treated by the German government. I have double the reason to fight for my life!’

Brueckner then accused the German authorities of keeping him in prison so they could build up a baseless case against him for Madeleine’s abduction.

The last photograph taken of Madeleine shows her smiling next to her little sister Amelie and their father Gerry at 1.30pm on May 3, 2007 in Portugal, the day she went missing


Madeleine McCann would have turned 18 last year. In 2012, five years after her disappearance, her family issued an age progression e-fit photo to show what Madeleine may have looked like aged nine (right)

He said: ‘No problem for them (BKA) to find out the ‘truth’ in the McCann case where Scotland Yard and half the world have searched. What a good reputation!

‘But now…without any helpful information from the public, the pressure gets high on them. People like to see facts. ‘Not just say that he was it. Proof (sic) it!’ But they can’t.

‘Instead of that the prosecutors shows in the public that I’m the right person by showing more crimes ‘I did’ in Portugal. Crimes against kids and women.’

He added: ‘I’m sitting in front of the television and watch people talking about me and creating a monster out of me. To be honest this is very fascinating.

‘It is incredible what people like to see. Not the truth, no, a horrible human being, a monster. And they get feeded (sic) by the prosecutors.’ 

Earlier this week MailOnline revealed how Brueckner claims in another letter he was not even in the area when Madeleine vanished from her parents Kate and Gerry’s apartment in Praia da Luz.

Brueckner who has convictions for child abuse said he had ‘Done nothing, ok, almost nothing’ as he instead he had not kidnapped and murdered Madeleine.

While another of his notes sent to MailOnline accuses the German police and prosecutors of ‘persecuting’ him and leaking negative information on him designed to blacken his character to the media.

Former police officer Mr Williams-Thomas, who has also been in correspondence with him and who will reveal the letters in his show says Brueckner has told him where he was the night Madeleine disappeared and that he was not where the police say he was. 

On May 3, 2007 Kate and Gerry McCann went to a small tapas bar metres away from their apartment to dine with friends. But when Kate returned to do a routine check on their children, she found that Madeleine had disappeared

Last week Brueckner was made an ‘arguido’ or official suspect by Portuguese police in the case but this was purely on procedural grounds as they have a statute of limitations which prevents anyone being charged with a serious crime 15 years after it occurred.

In the letter sent to MailOnline, Brueckner confirms he has not spoken to German or Portuguese police and he is maintaining his right to silence until prosecutors in either country conclude their case and present him with files.

One highly placed Portuguese source even told MailOnline the ‘arguido’ status could also be a way to ‘officially clear him of any involvement and drop proceedings against him’.

Next Tuesday’s documentary by Mark Williams-Thomas, Madeleine McCann: Prime Suspect will also highlight mobile phone records which Brueckner’s lawyer has already said do not prove he was in the area and could in fact place him up to 20 miles away as the ‘cell’ coverage covers a wider radius than initially thought.

German investigators homed in on the mobile phone records which they said ‘prove’ Brueckner was near the apartment where Madeleine vanished from on May 3 2007 and this combined with his previous offending and profile makes him in their view a ‘prime suspect’. 

How the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann unfolded

2007

May 3: Gerry and Kate McCann leave their three children, including Maddie, asleep in their hotel apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. When they return, they find Maddie missing from her bed

May 4: A friend of the McCanns reports of seeing a man carrying a child away in the night

May 14: Robert Mural, a property developer who lives a few yards from the hotel, is made a suspect by Portuguese police

May 30: The McCanns meet the Pope in Rome in a bid to bring worldwide attention to the search

August 11: Police in Portugal acknowledge for the first time in the investigation that Maddie might be dead

September 7: Spanish police make the McCanns official suspects in the disappearance. Two days later the family flies back to England

2008

July 21: Spanish police remove the McCanns and Mr Mural as official suspects as the case is shelved

2009

May 1: A computer-generated image of what Maddie could look like two years after she disappeared is released by the McCanns 

2011

May 12: A review into the disappearance is launched by Scotland Yard, following a plea from then-Home Secretary Theresa May 

2012

April 25: After a year of reviewing the case, Scotland Yard announce they belief that Maddie could be alive and call on police in Portugal to reopen the case, but it falls on deaf ears amid ‘a lack of new evidence’ 

2013

July 4: Scotland Yard opens new investigation and claim to have identified 38 ‘people of interest’

October 24: A review into the investigation is opened by Portuguese police and new lines of inquiry are discovered, forcing them to reopen the case

2014

January 29: British officers arrive in Portugal as a detailed investigation takes place. During the year, several locations are searched, including an area of scrubland near the resort 

2015

October 28: British police announce that team investigating Maddie’s disappearance is reduced from 29 officers to just four, as it is also revealed that the investigation has cost £10million  

2017

March 11: Cash is once again pumped into keeping the investigation alive, with £85,000 granted to keep it running until September, when it is extended once again until April next year

2018

March 27: The Home Office reveals it has allocated further funds to Operation Grange. The new fund is believed to be as large as £150,000  

2019  

April: Controversial new Netflix documentary re-examining Maddie’s kidnap is released

June 5: The Home Office gives the Metropolitan Police enough funding to investigate for another year

December 7: Paulo Pereira Cristovao, a long-time critic of Maddie’s parents, was convicted of participating in the planning of two violent break-ins at properties in Lisbon and the nearby resort of Cascais. He is jailed for seven and a half years

2020

February 22: Scotland Yard detectives questioned a British expat about her German ex-boyfriend. Carol Hickman, 59, claims police entered her bar in Praia da Luz to ask questions about her former partner 

June 3: Police reveal that a 43-year-old German prisoner has been identified as a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.

2022

April 21: Christian Brueckner, now 44, is made an ‘arguido’, a formal suspect, by Portuguese authorities.

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