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Anorak | Madeleine McCann: Suing Amaral, Mark Lawson’s Fact And Fiction, And Bloggers Beware

Madeleine McCann: Suing Amaral, Mark Lawson’s Fact And Fiction, And Bloggers Beware

by | 25th, July 2008

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

THE GUARDIAN: “The Panama Mystery – Mr and Mrs Canoe’s case fascinates but can’t match crime fiction’s satisfying motives and denouement”

Mark Lawson does so love a good ending to a work of fiction and fact. A super-fiction. Take care you don’t confuse the two.

In his piece Lawson name checks them all: John and Anne Darwin, Radovan Karadzic, Fred and Rose West, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, Ian Huntley, Harold Shipman and…

As the trial was coming to a close, I was at the Harrogate Crime-Writing Festival, and newspapers were reporting the latest developments in the Madeleine McCann case.

Bingo! Where were you?

One of the reasons for the huge popularity of crime fiction is that the genre explores, in a sanitised environment, the fear and prurient fascination we feel when faced with murders and abductions. Real-life criminality and fiction have become a loop, communicating with each other: several of the books discussed at Harrogate featured missing children; in two years, expect a slew of novels about husbands and wives who mysteriously disappear.

Can you tell the difference between fact and fiction? Now read on…

THE SUN: “McCanns to sue cop over book”.

DEVASTATED Kate and Gerry McCann are to launch a legal blitz in Portugal after the publication of a scandalous book about the disappearance of their daughter Maddie.

In The Truth Behind The Lie, ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral details ludicrous allegations about the couple and the pals they dined with when Maddie vanished in Portugal last year.

Who gets sued?

The McCanns plan to take action against Amaral, Portuguese newspapers which reprinted parts of the £10 book and bloggers who discussed it.

Anorak did not discuss the book’s merit. We did not reproduce a single quote from the book. But can bloggers who did be sued effectively? Many are men and women of straw. What can the outcome be? Best for bloggers, perhaps, to avoid the matter? Or get a crack moderation team – like Anorak. But what, then , of freedom of speech?

Says Amaral: “This book is not revenge, it is not persecution. We can discuss the case in court if they want.”

In the context of a libel case, they might well…

DAILY MAIL: “We failed, says Maddie police chief… but he refuses to apologise to her parents”

Says Amaral: “’There will be no apology, I was just doing my job.”

As a writer…?

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Madeleine McCann case: Portuguese police admit failings

The police detective who led the search for Madeleine McCann has admitted that there were some failings in the investigation but refused to accept responsibility for not solving the case…

Several hundred people queued up to collect copies of “Maddie The truth of the Lie” and many congratulated Mr Amaral for his courage to speak out.

BELFAST TELEGRPAH: “McCann case detective’s book to get English translation”

Who will review it if it published in the UK?

THE HERALD: “Sympathy for McCanns must be tempered”

Letters to the editor:

How kind Colette Douglas Home is to Gerry and Kate McCann (Comment, July 22). She uses many column inches pouring scorn on the Portuguese police (perhaps justifiably, I don’t know), showering Gerry and Kate with sympathy (I, too, feel for them), but only makes passing reference to the action that, had it not happened, would have prevented this heartbreaking event from occurring in the first place.
This is clearly their “decision to leave her sleeping while they met friends for dinner”.
Allistair Matheson, Selkirk.

Colette’s opinion – that Gerry McCann is handsome and Kate McCann beautiful – is irrelevant. The eye of the beholder? Colette states: “And they will always carry the burden of their decision to leave her sleeping while they met friends for dinner.” What kind of parents, in a foreign land, needlessly leave their child, not yet four years old, asleep without a child-minder and out of sound or sight, while they indulge themselves with their friends?

The McCanns deserve all the anguish they brought upon themselves through poor judgment, and not endless public sympathy. Madeleine is the victim. I hope and pray that she is unharmed and is being looked after in loving care, however wrongfully.
Donald C Irving, Ayr.

And on it goes…



Posted: 25th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (626) | TrackBack | Permalink