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Madeleine McCann – A Lesson From History And Gypsies

by | 20th, June 2007

IN the US, the talk is of the chidl’s right to roam and overprotective parents.

And this caught my eye:

Yesterday our daily history section mentioned the 1892 case of Mamie Schwartz, a five-year-old St.Paul girl kidnapped in June of 1892. I said I’d check the Strib’s archives papers to see how the story was covered – it was supposedly sensational enough to grip the public mind for months, and you wonder how they handled these matters in the days before Amber Alerts. The following may surprise you – but remember that papers were different then: dense, wordy, mostly unillustrated, with a few ads for scrofula cures and painless lobotomies punctuating endless expanses of dry tiny type.

No big headlines. No finger poiting. Less anxiety and talk of “every parent’s worst nightmare” – a nightmare the tabloid papers do their best to make so real.

The big story: an English Aeronaut, Prof. William Bissell, jumped from a balloon and parachuted to the ground. A few inches below, these terse remarks: “Mamie Schwartz, a 5-year old girl, has been missing from her home at 174 East Seventh Street since Saturday afternoon.” It ran on the bottom of page 5.

Some things don’t change: the Sun says a new lead suggests gypsies might have taken Madeleine McCann…



Posted: 20th, June 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (27) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink