Madeleine McCann: distorting the facts with Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood
MADELEINE McCANN: She is alive. Fact. Well sort of. The Metropolitan Police have issued a photo of Madeleine McCann at age 9. Only, it’s not an actual photo. It’s a guesstimate likeness created by an artist. The Met either have no idea what happen to Madeleine McCann, or have an idea but want to use the upcoming fifth anniversary of her disappearance to support their endeavours at solving the mystery.
Also, tonight BBC will broadcast Panorama – Madeleine: The Last Hope?. Catch it tonight at t 7.30pm on BBC One.
The tabloid press all lead with this picture of Our Maddie:
The Sun (front page): “Maddie age 9 – Image show her now”
Fact!. This is her now.
Daily Mirror (front page): “NEW HOPE FOR MADELEINE – Then & Now”
Daily Star (front page): “Amazing Pic To Help Find Missing Girl”
It’s an artist’s impression. Last week the Star produced one of its own.
Daily Express (front page): “MADDIE: SHE IS ALIVE”
Daily Mail (front page): “Is This How Maddie Looks Now?
The answer is EXCLUSIVE to all papers: We have no idea.
The Express adds to the facts by saying that Scotland Yard have found “195 news leads”. They haven’t. As the Met says in a statement:
“The intention is to identify from that material investigative opportunities which we will then present to the Portuguese authorities who retain primacy for the investigation. Officers have so far identified around 195 such opportunities within the historic material, and are also developing what they believe to be genuinely new material.”
“Most significantly, the message we want to bring to you is that, on the evidence, there is a possibility that she is alive and we desperately need your help today to appeal directly to the public for information to support our investigation.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: “We genuinely believe there’s a possibility that she is alive. I want to make a direct appeal. If you know where Madeleine McCann is or if you have any direct information or evidence about what happened to her, then please make contact.”
There are examples of children who have been abducted only to be found alive years later: Jaycee Lee Dugard was found alive 18 years after being snatched at the age of 11 from a bus stop in California; the Austrian schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch was found in 2006, eight years after being abducted aged 10; and Shawn Hornbeck, who disappeared aged 12 in 2002, was found four years later.
“The person who’s done it knows they have done it.”
The Guardian does not see fit to add Redwood’s other words:
“We are working on the basis of two possibilities here: one is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead.Our drive on both scenarios is in equal measure.”
They [police] are convinced the missing youngster can now be found safe and well.
He [Redwood] unequivocally dismissed the conspiracy theory – promoted by the original Portuguese lead detective Goncalo Amaral – that Madeleine’s parents had anything to do with her disappearance. He said detectives believe Madeleine was abducted in “a criminal act by a stranger”.
Much of the focus in the early stages of the investigation was on the people who were dining with the McCanns near their apartment on the night of the disappearance. DCI Redwood is working with another police review team in Porto – away from the scene of the abduction and headed by an experienced Portuguese detective – which also wants the case to be reopened.
The decision to restart the inquiry can only be taken by the Portuguese judiciary but the McCann family has been buoyed by a new centre-right coalition taking control, amid hopes that it could be more accommodating.