Madeleine McCann: TV expert reads missing child’s mind and un-solves crimes
Madeleine McCann was not kidnapped, says a ‘top investigator’. ‘MADDIE “WENT LOOKING FOR HER MUM & DAD”,’ announces the Star’s front-page headline. This is, says the paper, an ‘astonishing claim’. When investigators make claims you wonder if they understand the rudiments of investigations, which are about gathering evidence.
The story begins by billing former child prosecution officer Mark Williams-Thomas as ‘an investigator who unmasked pervert Jimmy Savile’. Those are some credentials. And were it not for the unhappy fact that the depraved BBC DJ was branded the ‘man who groomed the nation’ after he’d stopped polluting the airwaves and started to befoul the soil, it would be useful.
The Star notes that Williams-Thomas was on TV’s This Morning when (continues on Page 7) he says: “We know the twins did not wake up on days prior to her disappearance.” The Star refers to the claim that on the morning of her vanishing Madeleine McCann had asked her parents: “Where were you last night?” He continues: “I think as a result of that, Madeleine was clearly aware they [her parents] were in the tapas bar that was in the resort. Now the interesting element is that in order to get to the tapas bar bar you had to actually come out of the premiss – walk on a public road – to go back in again. and that raises a concern I have…”
Still there? He’s getting to his point. Having told us what the missing child was thinking, he adds: “Madeleine, I believe…”
Yep. What a man believes is front-page news. As ever, the single fact – child vanishes – is stretched out. Anyhow, what he believes is that the child woke up and went looking for her parents. And then..? And…? And Philip Schofield, the show’s host, steps in and declares: “Legally we have to leave it there.” He did not add, “Come back next week to find out what an expert thinks happened next!”
As ‘Our Maddie’ continues to entertain the folk back home, the parents’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, issues a wordy no comment comment. “This is pure speculation,” he notes “and as such Kate and Gerry will not be dignifying it with any sort of comments whatsoever.” But their spokesman will. And so too will a “family pal”, who offers: “When did he [Williams-Thomas] become an expert on this high profile case?” This is a rhetorical question because the unnamed source swiftly answers, “Never.”
As the Star listens to speculation, the Mirror reports ‘Maddie “went to find parents in tapas restaurant”‘ below the bigger headline: “We ARE innocent – McCanns slam judges who says they haven’t been formally cleared.” Their lawyer, Isabel Duarte, states: “There is no evidence they have committed any crime.” Please don’t speculate on what if any crimes have been committed. To do so would be potentially libellous. Stick to reading the missing child’s mind via a TV expert and imagining what she did. The media has pointed the finger before and been found wanting.
This latest legal episode centres on the McCanns’ failed court action against Goncalo Amaral, the ex-copper who wrote a book on the case and having been ordered to pay the McCanns libel damages for things he claimed in it, saw the ruling overruled on the grounds of his “right to freedom of expression”. The Mirror says Amaral could now sue the couple. In making its ruling the Portuguese Supreme Court said nothing more should be read into its words, whether it be innocence or guilt. To what is moot. The McCann’s arguido status was lifted in July 2008, and the judges said nothing can be deferred by it. The McCanns’ complaint, notes the paper, ‘said the archiving took place because “sufficient evidence had been collected to show they had not committed any crime”.
Over in the Mail, we learn that Williams-Thomas was on This Morning to plug a new telly show about unsolved crimes. So that bit about Schofield saying ‘stay tuned’ was only half in jest. It really is that ghoulish.