Anorak News | Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews: A British ‘Spanish Maddy’

Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews: A British ‘Spanish Maddy’

by | 9th, March 2008

shannon-vigil.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “Maddie’s parents in cash offer


Are there shades of a melodrama in this story?

“The parents of Maddie McCann yesterday pledged cash to boost the hunt for Shannon. Gerry and Kate, whose daughter has been missing for 10 months, are “deeply concerned” at the plight of Shannon’s family. Kate, 39, said: “My heart goes out to them. We always hoped and prayed that no other family would have to suffer like we have.”

The McCanns are the media voice of missing children. Providers of the easy quote.

“Money from the Find Madeleine Fund could perhaps pay for a massive poster campaign.”


McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry have no control over the money. The board will want to know what it is needed for.” The fund now stands at £544,000.

Perhaps not.

GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL: “Maddie Parents Pray For Tragic Mari’s Family.”

“THE parents of Madeleine McCann yesterday offered prayers for the family of tragic Mari Luz Cortes.”

No money. No more posters. Prayers.

Their McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “Gerry and Kate are extremely sad. They had developed a sense of unity with Mari Luz’s parents as both families were going through similar agonies.”

Mari Luz is dead. Her body has been found.

As the Sunday Mirror screamed: “Spanish ‘Maddy’ Mari Luz Cortes found dead in river.”

SUNDAY MIRROR: “’Two women broke into our home and tried to snatch our little girl. I had to fight them off.. I thought of Madeleine’.”


Another “Spanish Maddy”?

A British mum told yesterday how she fought off two intruders who tried to snatch her toddler daughter in Spain – in a chilling echo of the abduction of Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal. It has not been established what happened to her. Her parents have been named as suspects in her disappearance. So too has a Robert Murat.

To Moraira, Costa Blanca…

Brave Adele Spencer, 28, wrestled with the Moroccan-looking women when they broke into her home and tried to pluck 18-month old Annabelle from her high-chair.

A swarthy foreigner. A swarthy foreign child snatcher. In Morocco. Morocco. Like him in Malta. Malta. And him in Belgium. And them.

And last night aides to Kate and Gerry McCann said they are keen to find out more about both cases – to see if there are any links to four-year-old Madeleine’s abduction in Praia da Luz, Portugal, last May.

Yesterday tearful Adele cuddled her blonde daughter and admitted: “If I had been 10 seconds later she would have been gone. I’m just thankful I managed to get to Annabelle in time to save her. “I never thought we would come close to suffering the same fate as Madeleine’s parents. You read about horrific stories like theirs but you don’t expect it to happen to you.”

Adele’s fiancé is called Carl. Says he:

“What has happened to Madeleine is awful and it so nearly happened to us. No other parent should have to go through that suffering. We are happy to help Kate and Gerry in any way we can. Our heart goes out to them for what they are going through.

“For a brief moment we came close to losing our child and the pain is beyond words.”

Did the shocked parents volunteer the comparison or were they asked to comment on Madeleine McCann? Provide their trauma with context. Make their trauma newsworthy?

Says the McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell: “The parents have done the right thing by contacting the police. Our investigators will be seeing if there are any links between them and the disappearance of Madeleine.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Missing Shannon’s mother rues lack of concern”

It is the knock on the door that Karen Matthews fears most. At night, in the brief interludes when she can sleep, she dreams of answering a persistent rap to find an apologetic police officer at her door mouthing words of sympathy.

In his hand is her nine-year-old daughter Shannon’s pink-and-black swimsuit, or perhaps her blue striped towel. Sometimes her black puffa jacket, her school sweater or her distinctive pink and grey Bratz boots.

Something that Mrs Matthews recognises instantly as belonging to Shannon and with which her daughter would not willingly have parted.

“That is my dread. That is what I live in fear of,” Mrs Matthews says. “During the day I dismiss those thoughts, I force myself to stay positive. But at night you can’t control your imagination.”

Grim. Faces of children. Faces of children not there. A newspaper story.

Mrs Matthews, 32, has wept on television, begging for news of the nine-year-old, who seems simply to have vanished. And yet Shannon’s face is nowhere near as familiar to the public as those of, for example, Madeleine McCann, snatched 10 months ago in Portugal, or Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who vanished and were found murdered in Soham.

But Shannon Matthews is making news. She is making news because she is not Madeleine McCann.

The plight of Mrs Matthews is no less real or anguished than that of Madeleine’s parents. Indeed, on the surface there are many similarities between the two cases: Shannon, like Madeleine, has a favourite toy which the family now cherish; she has a two-year-old baby sister, Courtney, who weeps for her elder sibling, as do the McCanns’ younger children.

But it is the differences that are most immediately apparent. Mrs Matthews does not possess the poise or eloquence of Kate McCann, something which helped that family attract wide publicity and generate a worldwide search for their missing four-year-old.

Nor does she have the benefit of a focused and driven husband. Instead, Shannon comes from a deeply fractured family with a complicated home life.

Shannon Matthews’ family is poor. Not middle-class. The Telegraph’s readers are middle class. They read on about this poor, poor woman…

icWales: “‘Girls all think I’m their boyfriend’”

AS EVIL Shaun Jerome awaits sentence for his sickening sex assaults on two young girls, Wales on Sunday can reveal how he preyed on his victims using the internet.

Just months after his release from prison, Jerome, 24, began contacting teenagers in online chat-rooms and through the social networking site Bebo.

The convicted paedophile even had the cheek to post a message mentioning missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann, saying: “support the girl who’s missing in Portugal xx”.

Using Madeleine McCann to get what you want.

Madeleine McCann in the media

Posted: 9th, March 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (786) | TrackBack | Permalink