Jill Dando, Madeleine McCann, Barry George, Princess Diana And Tabloid Bingo
BARRY George, the oddball, has been cleared of murdering BBC presenter Jill Dando. The papers react:
DAILY EXPRESS: “£1M PAYOUT FOR MAN CLEARED OF KILLING JILL DANDO”
The 48-year-old convicted sex offender spent eight years behind bars and is likely to receive at least £500,000 compensation, plus a similar amount from a media bidding war for his story.
BBC: It’s £250,000.
DAILY MIRROR: Barry George in bid for £1million compensation after being cleared of Jill Dando’s murder
The money’s better in the Mirror:
George, 48, a loner with mental problems whose conviction for shooting dead Crimewatch presenter Jill was based on unreliable forensic evidence, was yesterday found not guilty after an Old Bailey retrial.
GLASGOW DAILY RECORD: “So Who Did Kill Jill?”
This from the Mirror in Scotland:
George could claim a maximum of £500,000 in compensation. Publicist Max Clifford believes that selling his story could make him a similar sum.
So not £1million as the Mirror says? Never mind, George can make up the difference:
Clifford said: “I would think it is worth at least £500,000 in terms of newspapers and television deals.”
TONY PARSON: “INNOCENT.. SO WHO GOT AWAY WITH MURDER?”
Just because someone is a weirdo, it doesn’t make them a murderer. And just because someone is a misfit, it doesn’t make them a killer.
That’s what you think.
But sometimes – as we saw in the case of Madeleine McCann [Tabloid Bingo! ] – a case has such a sensationally high profile that the police are under enormous pressure to bring someone to justice. Even if – as with Barry George – it is flawed justice.
Whatever you think about the man, and he is difficult to warm to, it remains true that he has suffered a terrible injustice.
Hard to warm to a man we’ve never met, are never likely to meet, and who has had his name blackened as being a misfit, weirdo killer…
THE SUN: “A fantasist who craved celebrity”
Surely the paper means: An innocent man wrongly accused of a murder?
FANTASIST George was a nobody — who dreamed of being a somebody.
Now he’s a somebody
He became obsessed with celebrity [see Sun’s Gordon Smart] and yearned to be a pop star, DJ or stuntman. But the only job he ever had was six months at 16 as a BBC messenger. After that he lived off incapacity benefit due to epilepsy…
Sick man jailed for crime he did no commit, read all about it!”
His retrial jury heard that a low IQ of 75 [76 in the Mail] and bullying at school left George with a dysfunctional personality, including intense resentment for women who rejected him.
Thicko who feels cheesed off when women turn him down jailed for crime he did not commit, read all about it!
His closest brush with the fame he craved came when he jumped four London buses on roller skates in 1985.
On Oxford Streeet?
A concerned TV reporter asked him: “Aren’t you a nutter?”
A MUM told last night how Barry George raped her on her doorstep — and warned: “He’s still a massive danger to women.”
Karen Gray, 46, dismissed claims that George is a “harmless eccentric” and urged women to be on their guard. She said: “I want people to know he’s always been a very dangerous man. He’s a maniac.”
But he’s not a murderer.
“He had gargantuan strength. I’m 5ft 8ins, well-built and fit, but I couldn’t fight him off. Then he let me go, said, ‘I’m sorry’ and ran off. Can you believe he apologised?” …
When the case went to court, a plea-bargain deal saw George admit attempted rape in order to spare Karen the ordeal of giving evidence in the witness stand.
Want to know what No. 2 in the list is? Get this:
2. Raid on Di’s palace
THE maniac donned a rubber SAS gas mask and armed himself with a dagger to break into the home of PRINCESS DIANA. She and Prince Charles were asleep at Kensington Palace when George — carrying a nylon rope — swooped. Cops, who had quizzed him the night before, arrested him before he got inside. He was freed — but a fingerprint check then nailed him for the rape.
Dando. Diana. Make the link… Bingo!
DAILY STAR: “SO…WHO DID KILL JILL DANDO?”
ODDBALL Barry George was in hiding last night after being cleared of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando.
Says Jill Dando’s agent Roseman: “Whoever did it – if it wasn’t Barry George – has got away with it.”
The shock verdict left Jill’s former Crimewatch colleague Nick Ross, 60, almost speechless. He said: “There is nothing I can say.”
DAILY MAIL (front page): “INNOCENT!”
The women who kept faith: Victory for sister and psychologist who stood by George
Throughout his legal ordeal, Barry George has been able to count on the constant support of two women – his sister Michelle Diskin and psychologist Dr Susan Young.
Dr Young was also at George’s side during his ten-week first trial in 2001.
She sat in the well of the court monitoring whether George suffered any ‘petit mal’ seizures – minor epileptic fits – which meant he could not follow the case.
In George’s cell below Court Number One at the Old Bailey, Dr Young also conducted regular ‘relaxation exercises’. Her ‘specialist techniques’ are said to have helped the convicted sex offender stay relaxed, attentive and stress-free during the case.
Mail readers have read of the blonde before:
A blonde psychologist is being paid £500 a day to give Jill Dando’s killer head massages, it has emerged. The treatment, which is paid for by the tax payer, came to light as Barry George launched a fresh appeal against his conviction for murdering the glamourous TV presenter on her own doorstep.
A blonde, eh? Like Princess Diana? Like Jill Dando. The plot thickens…
THE INDEPENDENT: George not guilty: so who did kill Jill Dando?
Yesterday the police said they will consider their next steps carefully. Commander Simon Foy, the head of the Metropolitan Police’s homicide and serious crime command, said: “We are disappointed by today’s verdict but especially disappointed for Jill’s family and friends. However, we respect the decision of the court. The investigation into her murder was complex, thorough and professional, with more than 2,500 statements taken and 3,700 exhibits recovered. We would like to thank the members of public who came forward following the murder to give us information …in particular those that gave evidence in court.”
He said the police “will be reflecting on today’s verdict and considering how best to proceed.”
THE GUARDIAN: “A whispered thank-you and Barry George walks free”
One man’s oddball, misfit weirod is another man’s:
Eccentric cleared of Dando murder after spending eight years in prison
THE INDEPENDENT: “Back to square one for police after their ‘soft target’ is freed”
Soft target – broadsheet for oddball?