Madeleine McCann police in Germany ‘were warned that they could wreck the investigation by relying on ‘flaky’ witness nicknamed Helge Bulls***ter’
German police officers investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann were warned they could spoil their investigation by relying on a ‘flaky’ witness nicknamed Helge Bulls***ter, it has been claimed.
Christian Brueckner, 45, was named by prosecutors last year as a prime suspect in the 2007 disappearance and murder of the three-year-old.
The police’s case revolves largely around the testimony of his former friend Helge Busching, who Brueckner chillingly told him when they discussed Madeleine’s disappearance: “She didn’t scream.”
But Busching is now ‘wobbling’ and on the verge of retracting his evidence, according to sources close to the German investigation.
And sources today claim that German officers had been warned about Mr Busching’s ‘flakiness’, with one revealing that he had even earned the nickname ‘Helge Bulls***ter’ among Portuguese officers, according to the Sun.
Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast in May 2007
Christian Brueckner was named by prosecutors last year as the main suspect in the three-year-old’s disappearance and murder
The source said: “Helge B is someone the Portuguese officers have known for a long time. But he was dismissed as a credible witness centuries ago.
‘He was always seen as a Walter Mitty character who talked ‘bulls**t’ all the time, hence the nickname.
‘They warned the Germans that he was a bit of a fantasist and that he was ‘flakey’ and that he said what you wanted to hear. But for some reason the German detectives detained him.
‘They based virtually their entire case on his evidence, despite being warned he could not be trusted. Now that he wants to withdraw, their credibility has been completely shattered.”
Mr Busching gave Brueckner’s name to British police in 2017, around the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Busching claims that Brueckner told him at a Spanish kite festival in 2008 that he had been involved in the kidnapping of Madeleine from Praia da Luz a year earlier.
When asked in 2020 what he thought of Brueckner, Busching said, “One word. Guilty.’
Busching, who now lives on the French island of Corsica, added: “He is in the right place at the moment and hopefully he will stay there for a long time.”
After German prosecutors announced in June that they were investigating Brueckner, the Metropolitan Police revealed that they had received a tip about him in 2017.
“Following the tenth anniversary, the Met received information about a German man who was known to have been in and around Praia da Luz,” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said at the time.
But it is now feared Mr Busching is not a reliable witness as it emerged Portuguese officers nicknamed him ‘Helge Bulls***ter’.
A source told the Sun that Busching is ‘wobbling’ and is on the verge of retracting his evidence.
“He was paid a huge sum to repeat his statement in a German newspaper and now he is pulling the plug,” a German source said.
“It just shows you what kind of people you’re dealing with, and their credibility as witnesses.”
Convicted rapist and pedophile Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2005.
A police search team walks along the bank of the Arade Dam near Silves, Portugal in May 2023
A map shows Brueckner’s movements around the Algarve at the time Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday
Madeleine was snatched just nine days before her fourth birthday while left alone with her younger twin siblings
Yesterday it was claimed that Brueckner has written begging letters to his former friends, asking them to talk in court about what a ‘good guy’ he is, in a bid to clear his name.
Brueckner moaned in a letter to a friend that prosecutors considered him a “monster.”
Brueckner, who prosecutors say is responsible for Madeleine’s kidnapping and murder in 2007, begged two of his friends to support him in court if he went to trial on separate charges of rape and child sex.
“I know two people who received the messages from Chris,” Brueckner’s former friend, who is still in touch with those who knew Brueckner in the Algarve, told the Mirror.
‘It really scared them. They hadn’t heard from him for years and then suddenly these letters arrived in the mail from Germany.’
The source added: “He asked them to speak in his defense, about what a good guy he is. He said German police and prosecutors are targeting him, saying he is a monster.
‘It’s outrageous that Chris is asking for help because now we all know what his past is. When we started hanging out with him in the early 2000s, it was all secret. We didn’t know he was a pedophile. But now he has no chance of anyone standing up for him in court.”
Brueckner is currently languishing in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal just 18 months before Madeleine was kidnapped.
His trial heard he planned the sex attack after breaking into the victim’s home with a rope to tie her up. She was blindfolded and gagged before being raped and robbed.
Last year he was named as a prime suspect in the disappearance and murder of Madeleine, who disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007, just a few days before her fourth birthday. But he has still not been charged in her kidnapping and he denies his involvement.
In June, Brueckner branded the police investigation against him as unfounded in a handwritten letter seen by MailOnline.
In the letter he attacked informant Busching. The two men had been friends in Portugal in the early 2000s, but as Brueckner explains in his latest post, he says they fell out after a drug deal went wrong the year Madeleine went missing and never spoke again.
Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast – where Brueckner lived at the time – in May 2007 and has never been seen since.
In May, parents Kate and Gerry McCann gathered with friends and family in Rothley, Leicestershire, to poignantly mark the 16th anniversary of her disappearance.
They harbor a glimmer of hope that Madeleine is still alive.
She would now be 20 years old.