Brenda Leyland: 4000 Madeleine McCann Tweets And One About Her Own Suspicious Death
WHAT is the media is saying about Brenda Leyland, the woman “unmasked” as a “troll” by anonymous troll hunters, door-stepped by Sky News and called a “bitch” in the Daily Mirror. Brenda Leyland is now dead. She had 172 followers on Twitter. Her account is closed.
The woman who took her own life after being accused of directing online abuse at Madeleine McCann’s parents had sent more than 4,000 tweets about the couple over the past year. Police formally identified the dead woman today as Brenda Leyland, 63, who was confronted last week by a Sky News TV crew over her apparent “trolling” of the couple… she had used the Twitter handle @sweepyface to attack the McCanns.
… she had used the hashtag #McCann no fewer than 4,220 times since November last year, accusing them of neglect and questioning their version of the events leading up to the disappearance of their daughter in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. Reprising many of the accusations used by McCann “haters”, she also regularly accused the couple of using money collected for the Find Madeleine fund for their own personal enrichment. One tweet last week read: “#mccann ” If it stinks like a rotten fish it is a rotten fish ” all connected seem to prosper ??”
“We were saddened to hear of the death of Brenda Leyland. It would be inappropriate to speculate or comment further at this time.”
Looking over the 5,000-plus tweets from her @sweepyface account, there is clearly a fixation – even an unsettling obsession with the McCanns. She describes them as neglectful parents, objects to their ongoing media appearances, and complains that they are profiting from their daughter’s disappearance. And when people challenge her, she calls them unpleasant names, disputes their evidence and blocks them. In short, her conduct would aggravate some and deeply offend others – but much the same could be said of select comedians, journalists and celebrities who can reach millions. Leyland’s account had a mere 182 followers by the time it suddenly vanished. The crucial question is: did she incite others to harm the McCanns? Or threaten to abduct the McCanns’ other children? Or pose any clear menace?
On Twitter at least it doesn’t seem so. She regularly tweeted the Metropolitan police and Crimewatch, demanding they do more. She would highlight what she felt were untruths in the stories of major press outlets such as the Daily Mail. She railed at media outlets such as LBC for not airing what she felt was the other side of the story. And at the same time, she ensconced herself within a small network of other Twitter users who supported her, agreed with her, and perhaps gave her a sense of identity and importance as a figurehead campaigning for what she believed was justice for Madeleine.
Somebody’s Mum: Facebook campaign to get Sky reporter who exposed Maddie McCann troll sacked – after she is found dead in hotel room…
A social media campaign has been launched calling for the sacking of Sky News reporter Martin Brunt, who tracked down and interviewed a woman who allegedly trolled the McCann family – and then killed herself a few days later.
Brenda Leyland, 63, died at a Marriott hotel on Saturday around 15 miles from her immaculately kept village home in Leicestershire. Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious.
A statement on the ‘Sack Martin Brunt’ Facebook page, set up yesterday, said: ‘Martin Brunt should be sacked after stalking and hounding an innocent woman, leading to her tragic untimely death. RIP Brenda Leyland.’ So far 1,265 people have liked the page.
The story is big. The big-time pro-trolls are on it:
Katie Hopkins on Brenda Leyland: ‘How many more must die before the McCann’s accept their negligence is at the heart of their grief?’…”How many more must die before the McCann’s accept that negligence is at the heart of all their grief?”The Sun columnist tweeted to her followers.
And if want a conspiracy to talk about, here you go:
Meanwhile, Madeleine McCann is missing. We have no idea what happened to her. There are no named suspects. We don’t even know for certain what crime, if any, befell her.
Leave the police to investigate. If you have any facts, tell the Met.