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Anorak | Our Madeleine McCann: Colin Stagg, Mad Dogs And Lucy Cavendish, And Amaral’s True Lies

Our Madeleine McCann: Colin Stagg, Mad Dogs And Lucy Cavendish, And Amaral’s True Lies

by | 20th, July 2008

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

SUNDAY PEOPLE: “We’ll savage bungling cops on Oprah [Winfrey] show – CLEARED McCANNS VOW TV ONSLAUGHT”

Cleared?

“At noon tomorrow a judge will formally lift the cloud of suspicion.”

Is that a fact?

The couple are likely to focus their fury on top cop Goncalo Amaral, who was kicked off the Madeleine case last October following allegations of incompetence and attacks on his British police counterparts.

“I’LL NEVER HAVE MY LIFE BACK – MURAT” – ‘I don’t know if I will ever be able to shake off the stigma of being ‘that Maddie man‘.”

“People say there is no smoke without fire and there may always be some who still doubt me. I have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

Let’s play a game of word association: Colin Stagg.

He’s the one set up by those bungling UK cops. Colin Stagg was accused of murdering Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common. Colin Stagg is innocent.

There being no forensic evidence, they were forced to look for likely suspects, and in Colin Stagg they found a man who ideally suited the tabloid agenda. He was runtish and rat-like, and yet also into body-building. He lived on his own. He was given to wearing dodgy-looking singlets and he was a devotee of the ancient pagan religion called Wicca. He had a picture of the Cerne Abbas giant inscribed on a black-painted wall in his flat.

Someone said that they had seen him, or a man very like him, on the common on the morning of the murder – and that was enough.

SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY: “After 445 days of missing Maddie, cloud of suspicion over parents lifts”

Tomorrow Kate and Gerry McCann hope the suspicion that they played a role in her disappearance from a Portuguese beach resort will finally – and officially – be lifted.

Hope? But in The People it’s a fact?

The Portuguese authorities are believed to be ready to remove the official arguido – suspect – status from the couple and clear them of any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance from Praia de Luz in May last year.

Believed.

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann abduction leaves family holidays haunted by fear”

The exodus to the sun starts this weekend – but since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, parents are feeling paranoid about the safety of their offspring. Foreigners think we are mad, reports Lucy Cavendish from Mallorca

Mad pervs and Englishmen…

Says Lucy Cavendish:

You can always spot the English abroad. Not by the way they dress or their sunburnt skin but by how protective they are of their children.

Always!

“I feel I can’t leave my children alone for a second,” says Joanne Brown as she sits in a café next to the beach at Port de Soller in Mallorca. “It’s a nightmare. I’ve always been conscious of where my children are on holiday, but now I feel much more aware of them. If I shut my eyes for a moment, I feel terrified that they won’t be there when I open them.

Abracadabra. Fish ‘n’ chips. Poof!

But ever since last May, when three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from her bedroom in Praia da Luz, Portugal, there is an almost tangible parental fear that underlies family holidays: that someone will take our children and we will never see them again.

Matchsticks in the eyes. Don’t dare to look away.

Post-Maddie, holidaying abroad has become a minefield. The parameters have shifted. Where once parents might have left children in a play area/on the beach/in a café while they quickly whipped off to go to the loo/order a meal/get some drinks, now we dare not. We reappraise all the time, scan people’s faces on beaches, by the swimming pool, in the play area. We are constantly asking ourselves: who is safe? What is safe? Are kids’ clubs fine? Are the staff vetted properly?

Anorak advocates the CoZee Reins – modelled on the penal system of Alabama, these handy chains with optional heavy ball attachment ensure the kidz are kept within shouting distance.

Tell Armani to “come ‘ere or I‘m, gonna kill yer”, and see her find no way of escape”.

On holiday with the Lucy Cavendishes:

One night, my 11-year-old son asked if he and his brothers, aged five and three, could sleep in this separate room. “Of course!” I replied.

Later on, when they were asleep, I got myself into a terrible panic. My eldest son had said he didn’t want to lock the door in case any of them needed to go to the loo in the night. This seemed to make sense.

At 2am, I woke up in a hot sweat. I imagined nameless, faceless marauders creeping up from the beach, slipping into the place and making off with one of them.

I woke my husband up. “The boys are ALONE!” I screamed. “It’s not going to happen here,” he said, immediately knowing what I was referring to. “This is Devon.”

But, as every parent now knows, it doesn’t matter if it’s Devon or Praia da Luz. Everyone is afraid of the stranger, the person out there who, in our minds, wants to steal and harm our children.

Was that her husband screaming?

THE GUARDIAN: “Madeleine police chief to launch ‘explosive’ book”

Gonçalo Amaral, who was chief of the criminal investigation police for the Algarve region, has scheduled a news conference in Lisbon on Thursday to launch the book, just three days after the widely expected announcement tomorrow that the case is being shelved by prosecutors for lack of evidence.

In the book, provisionally entitled True Lies, Amaral is also likely to reopen his assault on the role of the British police in the investigation. He has publicly suggested that they were influenced throughout by the leads which Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, wanted pursued.

He is said to be convinced that Madeleine is dead, while the McCanns have continued to press investigators to follow the trail of potential kidnappers and ensure their daughter’s safe return.

THE SUNDAY TIMES: “Murder most modern- Kate Summerscale’s prize-winning account of an 1860 killing shows how little we’ve changed”

Ed Caesar looks at the 1860 murder of Saville Kent in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.
What is most striking about her account (and this, perhaps, is what won the judges’ favour) is that it echoes contemporary culture. The huge interest in, and continual theorising about, the disappearance of an infant; the castigation of detectives for their incompetence; the swings of compassion towards or against suspects — all mirror the case of our own missing child, Madeleine McCann.

Our Maddie.

SUNDAY HERALD: “Courts make editors think hard before delving into private lives – Judiciary increasingly taking the view that public interest must be stronger than potential harm”

Although Madeleine McCann “aguido” Robert Murat’s £600,000 payout last week from 11 newspapers after successfully suing for the separate offence of defamation, editors are being forcefully reminded to think longer and harder about what stories papers can and should run.

Indeed. A current story in Correio da Manha has not repeated in the UK press about the case.



Posted: 20th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (431) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink