Maddie McCann murder suspect’s horrific crimes exposed
German investigators are confident they've found the man responsible for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The sexual predator, who has been named as Christian B, is behind numerous attacks on children and has been convicted of the rape of an American pensioner.
Christian B lived for years in a campervan in Praia da Luz in Portugal, and was dealing drugs and drifting around the time the three-year-old disappeared in 2007, according to investigators.
The German prosecutors are treating the McCann's case as a suspected murder.
He is currently in jail for an unrelated sexual attack on the elderly woman, which took place two years before the disappearance of McCann. His full name cannot be revealed due to privacy laws in Germany but has been reported in British media.
The German investigators say they've determined the method used to kill the child, according to a report from Reuters. They didn't believe the killing was premeditated and said Christian B had been linked burglaries and break ins.
Christian B first became a suspect in the high profile case in 2017 when he allegedly confessed to abducting McCann while in a German bar. As he was talking with a friend a report about the three-year-old's disappearance came on TV and he said he knew what had happened to the child.
Sources from Germany claim Christian B had boasted he "snatched her" but had not confessed to her killing.
"He was in a bar in Germany with another man, around the tenth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. A report came on the TV and he said something to suggest that he knew what happened," Sky News reported.
"He also allegedly showed a video of himself raping a woman. Video of the rape led to an investigation that last year meant he was convicted of the rape of a tourist on the Algarve in around 2005.
"That is what brought him back into the frame."
Horrific details have also emerged about Christian B's life in Praia De Luz, in the Algarve region of Portugal - where McCann vanished in 2007.
Christian B is known to have lived in different areas of the Algarve from 1995 to 2007 and during that period he lived for some time just a few kilometres outside of Praia De Luz in a mobile home. During this period, he would also travel back to Germany, where he recorded a number of convictions for drug and sexual offences, according to The Guardian.
Christian B's first conviction for child sex crimes came in 1994 in Bavaria, when he was 17.
He was sentenced to two years in prison for the "abuse of a child" and "taking sexual acts in front of a child" but served only part of his sentence, according to German outlet Spiegel.
He was again convicted for trafficking in a large quantity of narcotics in 2011, and was again given three months in prison in 2013 for "sexually abusing a child in the act of procuring himself and possessing child pornography". In 2014, he was also convicted for assault.
Christian B is currently in prison for his most serious crime - the rape of an elderly American tourist, who he attacked in Portugal in 2005, two years before McCann went missing.
The woman, 72, lived in a flat 1km from Christian B's home, and according to court documents seen by The Guardian, the horrific rape was planned in detail. The victim said in her testimony "he enjoyed torturing me".
Christian B was not convicted for the rape until 14 years after the event, when a former accomplice turned on him and DNA evidence was secured by the courts.
He entered the woman's apartment at night through her living room door while she watched TV, and dragged her through her house and tied her down, before beating her with a 30cm long curved blade.
He raped her before leading her to the kitchen and forced her to give him cash, and took her money and fled.
A lead in the case came when the former accomplice told police about a horrific video of the rape he'd seen at a home in Praia da Luz.
The friend and former accomplice of Christian B, who had been detained for stealing fuel, told police the video showed Christian B masking, whipping and raping the elderly woman, who had been tied naked to a pole during the incident.
Late last year, Christian B was convicted of the crime and sentenced to seven years in prison for raping the woman. She is now 86.
The Sun reports Christian B is currently appealing his conviction over the rape.
It's believed prosecutors are close to charging Christian B, according to reports.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Maddie McCann suspect's horrific crimes