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Anorak | Shannon Matthews: Madeleine McCann’s Shameless Legacy

Shannon Matthews: Madeleine McCann’s Shameless Legacy

by | 4th, December 2008

KAREN Matthews has been found guilty of kidnapping her daughter Shannon Matthews and get her hands on the reward money.

Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan were both found guilty of the kidnap and false imprisonment.

The pair were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

THE GUARDIAN: “Shannon Matthews case has ‘no link to Shameless episode'”

Widespread rumours that an episode of the TV series Shameless might have inspired the Shannon Matthews kidnap plot have been swiftly dismissed by the head of the police inquiry, Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan.

“I’d have picked up that straight away if it was correct,” he said. “I was born in Gorton in Manchester where Shameless is made.”

An episode shown a month before Shannon disappeared involved the fake kidnap of a young boy, Liam Gallagher, in an attempt to claim a £500,000 ransom. The child was hidden a few doors away from his home, with a friend of his sister.

So not Shameless. Unless it was Shameless:

THE TIMES: “Shannon case was Shameless – without the humour”

Madeleine joined a list of missing girls whose fate gripped the country and whose names resound sadly to this day. It includes Sarah Payne, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Not so Shannon. It was not her fault, but the nine-year-old came from the wrong sort of family. She also broke the rules of such narratives by being found alive.

And here the tale did become interesting. If what was lacking before then was the sympathy born of a sense of identification with the main characters, now came a gleeful injection of condemnation.

Those same players who proved incapable of tugging sufficient heart-strings turned out to be the very ones responsible for Shannon’s disappearance.

As grief-stricken parents, they had been a let-down. Recast as monstrous villains, they fitted the bill perfectly. There is no small irony in the police’s belief that it was probably saturation coverage of the McCann story which first gave Karen Matthews the idea to plan her own daughter’s abduction.

BBC: “‘I’m ashamed Karen is my sister'”

“She’s a bad mother”, said Julie Poskitt, Matthews’s sister.

“She’s not normal is she? You have kids and you love them.

“I’m ashamed of my family, and thinking what people out there might think of me, knowing that it’s my sister.”

Det Con Christine Freeman on Karen Matthews’ behaviour

Matthews’s older brother Martin echoed similar feelings.

He said: “She’s just degraded my family to be honest . . . and made a mockery of everybody.”

Shame.

Shannon Matthews: Part of the Medeleine McCann legacy. Can the media be blamed for any of it?



Posted: 4th, December 2008 | In: Photojournalism, Reviews Comments (11) | TrackBack | Permalink